Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Tetrahedron Kites

MAdele Carson
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students learn about two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures by making a kite.


The student uses appropriate geometric vocabulary to describe properties and attributes of two- and three-dimensional figures (for example, faces, edges, vertices, diameter).

The student draws and classifies two-dimensional figures having up to eight or more sides.


-Kite directions from Web site
-Drinking straws
-Tissue paper (colored looks best!)
-Glue or glue sticks


1. Read through the directions for the kite-building on the web site.
2. Before the lesson, have all of the materials ready!
3. When tying off knots at the end of the straws, be sure to double knot tightly.


1. Introduce the concept of two-dimensional and three- dimensional objects by drawing a picture of a triangle on the board.
2. Ask what object is represented (triangle) and discuss the meaning of the prefix tri-. Ask students what other words have tri- at the beginning and why?
(Triceratops-three horned; tricycle-three wheeled; triplets-three children, etc.)
3. Show the students a triangle made with three straws strung on a piece of string (with ends tied). Discuss the face of the triangle, vertices, edges, and angles.
4. String two more straws and show the students the resulting figure (diamond). Tie off. Ask what is different about the figure (shape, size).
5. Add another straw to the string and tie off to connect far points of diamond. (See tetrahedron directions for picture.)
6. Explain which are the faces, edges, and vertices of the tetrahedron.
7. If the students are working in small groups, the first student to get the kite made may help the others.
8. Fly the kites!


Students will be able to explain the vertex, edge, and face of their kites to others.


In building the kites, you can cut the straws in half in order to make smaller kites. You can also tie four tetrahedrons together to make a large tetrahedron (and tie four of these together for a really large kite).
Tetris computer game

Web Links

Web supplement for Tetrahedron Kites
Tetrahedral Kite Variations

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