Help your students prepare for their Maths GCSE with this free 3d shapes worksheet of 35 questions and answers
A three-dimensional shape (3D shape) (sometimes called a solid shape) has three dimensions, length, width and height. Students are expected to recognise and name common 3D shapes, such as cubes, cuboids and triangular prisms. We live in a three-dimensional world, so students should be familiar with the real life examples of different 3D shapes around them e.g. a tin of baked beans in the shape of a cylinder.
3D shape properties include the number of faces, vertices and edges. A face is a flat or curved surface. An edge is where two faces meet, and a vertex is a corner where edges meet. For example, a square-based pyramid has 5 faces (1 square and 4 triangular), 8 edges and 5 vertices, and a cuboid has 6 faces, 8 edges and 12 vertices.
A prism is a geometric shape that has a constant cross-section. If we cut a prism parallel to its end, we reveal an identical shape. For example, a hexagonal prism would consist of two hexagonal faces at either end, and six rectangular faces joining the hexagons. If we cut this prism through the rectangular faces, the shapes revealed inside would be hexagons. Another example of a prism is a cuboid (sometimes called a rectangular prism) which has all rectangular faces.
There are different 3D shapes activities students can do to learn properties of 3D shapes. For example, it can be useful for students to create a set of revision flashcards with the name, diagram and properties of each 3D shape. Creating a 3D paper model or a net or using real life examples can help students to identify faces, edges and vertices.
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