Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Follow The Annenberg Learner on Facebook Follow Annenberg Learner on Twitter
Mailing List signup
Follow The Annenberg Learner on LinkedIn Follow The Annenberg Learner on Facebook Follow Annenberg Learner on Twitter
Interactives --  3D Shapes Interactives --  3D Shapes Pick another Interactive:

3D Shapes

There are many types of three-dimensional shapes. You've surely seen spheres and cubes before. In this lesson, you'll learn about polyhedra — three-dimensional shapes whose faces are polygons — and you'll also learn about two special types of polyhedra: prisms and pyramids.


A die is in the shape of a cube. A portable DVD player is in the shape of a rectangular prism. A soccer ball is in the shape of a truncated icosahedron. These shapes are all examples of polyhedra.

A three-dimensional shape whose faces are polygons is known as a polyhedron. This term comes from the Greek words poly, which means "many," and hedron, which means "face." So, quite literally, a polyhedron is a three-dimensional object with many faces.

The faces of a cube are squares. The faces of a rectangular prism are rectangles. And the faces of a truncated icosahedron are pentagons and hexagons — there are some of each.

The other parts of a polyhedron are its edges, the line segments along which two faces intersect, and its vertices, the points at which three or more faces meet.

Illustration of a die. Its faces are squares.
Illustration of a portable DVD player. Its faces are rectangles.
Illustration of a soccer ball, which is a truncated icosahedron. Its faces are hexagons and pentagons.

Home | Catalog | About Us | Search | Contact Us | Site Map |

  • Follow The Annenberg Learner on Facebook

© Annenberg Foundation 2016. All rights reserved. Legal Policy