This lesson begins to teach students the geometric concepts of flip, turn, slide, and congruence.  Students will learn the accompanying vocabulary and  demonstrate the concepts using hands-on learning and graphing.

Title of Lesson

Flip, Turn, or Slide and Congruence


Grade 3 Geometry


3.G.A.1           Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals).  Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of those subcategories.

Student Learning Goal(s)

  • Students will know the following vocabulary: triangle, congruent, symmetry, transformation, slide or translation, flip or reflection, turn or rotation, pre-image, image.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the above vocabulary and construct each independently.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Remember previous geometrical concepts that apply to this lesson (e.g. quadrilateral,
rhombus, rectangle, square, and others).
Understand new vocabulary and concepts.
Apply vocabulary and concepts in the activity.
Create diagrams of the vocabulary proposed.


Formative assessment: following the teacher’s demonstration using an overhead projector and pentominoes (or other shape/geometric materials) to demonstrate the vocabulary, students will attempt to mimic what they have learned and form their own diagrams and recordings.  Teacher will check for understanding.
Summative assessment: following the lesson and subsequent days of practice, an evaluative test would be administered.  An evaluative test can range from (a) simple testing or quizzes with work shown, or (b) via a geometry journal project where students will create a reference book defining and diagraming the vocabulary.

Procedures/Lesson Sequence

  1.  Discuss each term with the students as a class.  Each student will record the term and definition (one per page) in their geometry journal.
  2. Check prior knowledge: use overhead magnetic pentominoes to have students demonstrate their knowledge of the terms.
  3. Conduct hands-on activity: provide students with individual sets of pentominoes and graph paper (optional).  Students will practice translations, reflections, and rotations.
    1. Provide a list of steps students must follow to produce each diagram.  For example, problem #1 would state: from point A, show 2 slides and 2 flips across the graph paper.  Students will then trace the starting point (pre-image) as well as their ending point (image).  These pages of graph paper should be included in their geometry journal.
  4. Closing: Have students share and describe how they found their answers.


Graphing paper, pentominoes (or other shape/geometric materials), overhead projector, pencils, journal or folder designated for geometry terms.


An overhead projector is required to demonstrate the vocabulary using pentominoes or other overhead shape/geometric materials.  This technology engages students as it gives a real-time, hands-on example of the vocabulary being discussed.  Students may also be asked to use the projector and pentominoes themselves when called upon to demonstrate their learning.


  • Pre-teach all vocabulary and concepts.
  • Provide study guides and worksheets to provide references and foster memorization.
  • Write vocabulary and definitions on the board so that students may easily transcribe without error into their journals.
  • Use visuals via the overhead for visual cognition.
  • Use simple terms in association with difficult vocabulary (i.e. “slide” for translation, “flip” for reflection, and “turn” for rotation).
  • Have students repeat directions for the steps, and provide substantial pause between steps while vocalizing.
  • Write steps on the board and have students transcribe them into their journals.
  • Have students use pentominoes so as to easily visualize the steps.
  • Have students use graphing paper to produce precise diagrams.
  • Circulate the room and provide assistance or thinking points with students if they struggle.
  • Instruct students to raise their hands and ask questions if they find themselves “stuck.”
  • Have students work with buddies to produce their diagrams, then copy into their own respective journals.
  • If students have difficulty writing, provide print-outs of the steps for students to cut and paste into their journals (graph paper also aids in writing legibly).


Image credit: ExcelMathMike