Geometry Trees

By Brent Vasicek on December 8, 2010
  • Grades: 3–5

The holidays are a time of excitement. The standard pencil pushing assessment just doesn't seem to fit. Below is a geometry assessment that turns into a great hallway display for the holiday season.

Starting in December, I like to take some time to switch gears in math by doing some geometry. We review plane and solid figures, discuss symmetry and polygons, and introduce angles and circumference.  Basically, there is a lot of vocabulary to be accountable for.

To assess the students' ownership of the vocabulary, I created geome-trees. It is art project. It is a math assessment. It is a hallway display. Three in one. The only supplies you need are construction paper and glue.

  • First, create a list of geometry vocabulary words for which you want to hold students accountable. Here is my list of 20:  
  1. acute angle
  2. isosceles triangle
  3. obtuse angle
  4. right angle
  5. equilateral triangle
  6. parallel
  7. perpendicular
  8. square
  9. rectangle
  10. rhombus
  11. parallelogram
  12. trapezoid
  13. pentagon
  14. hexagon
  15. octagon
  16. circle
  17. circumference
  18. diameter
  19. radius
  20. chord
  • Next, tell the students their mission: Using construction paper, create and decorate a Christmas tree that contains examples of the vocabulary words. This tree will be glued to a blue or black background. To incorporate additional examples, presents may be placed under the tree.
  • Last, have the students label the tree with the words. Often I print off the vocabulary words on address stickers and allow the students to peel and stick.


Vasicek Geometry Far  Vasicek Geometree Close 


When you are done, you can put up your decorative and educational hallway display.

What simple, educational art projects do you do in your classroom?

Happy holidays,



How about a geo-city? Students can include the examples of vocabulary words to make houses, office buildings, cars with tires, lines on the road, windows, stop signs, etc.. This can also be a great ELD activity for the second language learners by teaching them about your downtown area.

Oooooh, Jacie, I like that. Geo-city. Very trendy. Excellent activity for all types of cultures and learners! Thank you for sharing. Brent

I use glyphs, which allows for students to study data and create visual art.

Great idea! Thanks for the suggestion. ~Brent

Eileen, I tell the students that do not celebrate Christmas that they don't have to make a traditional Christmas tree. A Geome-tree can be any shape and decorated in any way. In fact, they could actually go inside the tree a decorate a squirrels home with various items that are based on the list of shapes.

I love it! I do, however, have some students who do not celebrate Christmas. I'd love to get ideas from you, Brent, and other teachers about how you could modify this cool project to work for Jews and others. I have some basic ideas, but I always love to hear from others.

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