Section 3: Exploring 3D shapes

Key Focus Question: How can you use practical tasks to investigate the relationship of 2D to 3D shapes?

Keywords: polyhedra; investigation; patterns; surfaces; edges; vertices; polygons; subject knowledge

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • developed your own subject knowledge of regular polygons (2D shapes) and polyhedra (3D objects);
  • explored practical activities to help pupils investigate the relationship between polygons and polyhedra.


The process of building real geometric solids provides an informal and practical way for pupils to get to know and understand geometric objects.

Because pupils are able to touch the shapes and objects being studied, they feel more confident about thinking in a more abstract way. If these shapes are linked to objects in everyday life, this helps pupils’ thinking and visualisation.

1. Using practical work