Maths Year 5/6 Autumn Shape

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Quadrilaterals, other polygons and circles (suggested as 2 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Children each draw a quadrilateral, then discuss similarities and differences. Name and explore properties of quadrilaterals using an online activity.
Group Activities: T with Y5
Y5 -- Tear the four vertices from a quadrilateral and arrange around a point to find the total angle. Investigate diagonals of quadrilaterals;
Y6 -- Use a sorting tree, Carroll or Venn diagram to sort quadrilaterals. Make a range of quadrilaterals using art straws and identify features.

Day 2 Teaching
Children write facts about shapes, then use facts to guess a mystery shape.
Further Teaching with Y6
Discuss radius, circumference and diameter. Describe relationship of diameter and radius as a ratio (2 to 1, 2:1).
Group Activities: T with Y6
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation for this unit ‘Polygon dissections’ as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
Y5 -- Investigate how many different polygons can be made by drawing five equilateral triangles next to one another.
Y6 -- Draw circles, measure diameters and circumferences with string and work out ratio (Pi is introduced).

You Will Need

  • Mini-whiteboards and pens
  • Internet access
  • Rulers, protractors, scissors and glue sticks
  • ‘Quadrilateral sort’ (see Day 1 Practice sheets)
  • ‘Quadrilateral sorting tree’ (see resources)
  • Art straws
  • ‘Shape game board’ (see resources)
  • Additional activity sheets (see resources)
  • Calculators, lengths of string and pairs of compasses

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Find lines of symmetry

Day 2
Time intervals


Day 1
Y5: Measure and reason about angles in quadrilaterals. Sort quadrilaterals using a sorting tree.
Identify and classify quadrilaterals. Discuss the geometric properties possible and not possible in a quadrilateral. Write down reasoning with diagrams.

Day 2
Y5: Identify polygons. Identify properties of polygons.
Y6: Look for relationships between radius, diameter and circumference. Calculate using the formula C = p x d.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving


  • Is a semicircle a polygon?
  • Draw a polygon and list five of its properties.
  • Which of these shapes are quadrilaterals? (see download)


  • Draw a circle and label the radius and diameter. Explain how you could find the diameter.
  • Use damp string to measure the circumference of a small plate. Now measure its diameter and calculate the circumference. How accurate was your damp string measurement?
  • Mystery quadrilaterals:
    I have 2 non-equal parallel sides. The 2 non-parallel sides are equal. What am I?
    I have 2 pairs of equal sides, but no sides are parallel. 2 opposite angles are equal but not the other 2. What am I?

In-depth Investigation: Polygon Dissections
Children cut squares, rectangles and regular polygons into two parts. They see what new shapes they can make by putting the two parts together in different ways.

Extra Support

Y5: What’s Special?
Identifying and describing properties of triangles; using these properties to sort the triangles.

Y6: Sorting Logic Blocks
Using an on-screen interactivity to practise describing and sorting 2-D shapes; Sorting Logic Blocks from