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Properties of shapes | Lesson

What are properties of shapes?

Properties of shapes deal with the definitions of shapes and how shapes are classified. Additionally, we will use our knowledge of shapes to identify counterexamples, determine whether three lines of specified length can form a triangle, and solving problems by drawing diagrams.

What skills are tested?

  • Recognizing properties of common shapes
  • Identifying a counterexample to a mathematical statement about shapes
  • Using the triangle inequality rule
  • Drawing diagrams to solve problems

What are some properties of common shapes?

Triangles

Triangles are polygons with three sides and three interior angles.
Isosceles triangles have two sides with the same length. The two angles opposite these two sides have the same measure.
Equilateral triangles have three sides with the same length. Each interior angle of an equilateral triangle measures 60, degrees.

Quadrilaterals

Quadrilaterals are polygons with four sides and four interior angles.
Parallelograms are quadrilaterals with two pairs of parallel sides and two pairs of angles with the same measure. The opposite sides have the same length, and adjacent angles are
supplementary
.
Rectangles are parallelograms with four 90, degrees angles. The adjacent sides are
perpendicular
. While all rectangles are parallelograms, not all parallelograms are rectangles.
Squares are parallelograms with four sides of equal length and four 90, degrees angles. While all squares are both rectangles and parallelograms, not all parallelograms are squares and not all rectangles are squares.

What are counterexamples?

A mathematical statement is composed of two parts: a condition and a conclusion.
Showing that a mathematical statement is true requires a formal proof. However, showing that a mathematical statement is false only requires us to find one example where the statement isn't true. Such an example is called a counterexample because it is an example that counters, or goes against, the statement's conclusion.
Consider the statement "All rectangles are squares":
  • Condition: is a rectangle
  • Conclusion: is a square
The shape below is one of many counterexamples of the statement. It is a rectangle, but it is not a square.
To find a counterexample:
  1. Identify the condition and conclusion of the statement.
  2. Eliminate any choices that do not satisfy the statement's condition.
  3. For the remaining choices, counterexamples are those that do not satisfy the statement's conclusion.

What is the triangle inequality rule?

The triangle inequality rule states that the longest side of a triangle must be shorter than the combined lengths of the two other sides. In other words, for a triangle with side lengths a, b, and c:
a, plus, b, is greater than, c
For a triangle with only two known side lengths, a and b, the unknown side length, x, must meet one of the following conditions:
  • Shorter than the sum of the two known side lengths
  • Longer than the positive difference of the two known side lengths
a, minus, b, is less than, x, is less than, a, plus, b

Why should we draw diagrams to solve problems?

For some geometry questions, drawing a rough sketch is the best way to visualize the problem. These sketches do not need to be precise but should help us to see which choices can be eliminated.
Try sketching a few shapes to answer the question below!
Which of the following shapes can be formed using two congruent right triangles?
  • A triangle
  • A rectangle
  • A square
  • A pentagon (five-sided polygon)

Your turn!

TRY: PROPERTIES OF SQUARES
Which of the following statements must be true for a square?
Choose all answers that apply:
Choose all answers that apply:

TRY: GEOMETRIC COUNTEREXAMPLE
A rectangle with a perimeter of 10 units has an area of at least 5 square units.
Which of the following rectangles shows that the statement above is not correct?
Choose 1 answer:
Choose 1 answer:

TRY: TRIANGLE INEQUALITY RULE
A triangle has side lengths of 10, 20, and x. Which of the following could be the value of x ?
Choose 1 answer:
Choose 1 answer:

TRY: DRAWING DIAGRAMS
If a square is divided into 4 identical areas, which of the following could be the shapes of these areas?
Choose all answers that apply:
Choose all answers that apply:

Things to remember

Triangles are polygons with three sides and three interior angles.
  • Isosceles triangles have two sides with the same length. The two angles opposite these two sides have the same measure.
  • Equilateral triangles have three sides with the same length. Each interior angle of an equilateral triangle measures 60, degrees.
Quadrilaterals are polygons with four sides and four interior angles.
  • Parallelograms are quadrilaterals with two pairs of parallel sides and two pairs of angles with the same measure. The opposite sides have the same length, and adjacent angles are supplementary.
  • Rectangles are quadrilaterals with four 90, degrees angles. The adjacent sides are perpendicular. While all rectangles are parallelograms, not all parallelograms are rectangles.
  • Squares are quadrilaterals with four sides of equal length and four 90, degrees angles. While all squares are both rectangles and parallelograms, not all parallelograms are squares and not all rectangles are squares.
To find a counterexample:
  1. Identify the condition and conclusion of the statement.
  2. Eliminate any choices that do not satisfy the statement's condition.
  3. For the remaining choices, counterexamples are those where the statement's conclusion isn't true.
The longest side of a triangle must be shorter than the combined lengths of the two other sides. For a triangle with side lengths a, b, and c:
a, plus, b, is greater than, c
For a triangle with only two known side lengths, a and b, the unknown side length, x, must meet one of the following conditions:
  • Shorter than the sum of the two known side lengths
  • Longer than the positive difference of the two known side length
a, minus, b, is less than, x, is less than, a, plus, b
Draw diagrams helps us solve geometry questions.

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