Solid thinking

10 - 11 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
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Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 5-6 curriculum include:

  • visualising, describing and comparing the features of 3D geometric objects (solids)
  • naming and describing prisms and pyramids
  • describing a 3D object using terms such as vertex (corner), face and edge
  • connecting 3D objects with their nets (flat patterns that fold into the object) and other 2D representations such as photos and drawings
  • recognising 3D geometric objects in the environment.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Go 3D 

Is your child thrown by 3D objects, or nettled by nets (a flat pattern made by folding the surfaces of a 3D object out flat)? Identifying features of objects and visualising the structure of the whole object takes a lot of practice, so help your child with these ideas:

  • notice 3D geometric objects in your environment and name them – eg in the supermarket, at the art gallery
  • explore 3D shapes and their nets with online videos, articles and interactives by searching for 3D shapes and nets 
  • practise making nets by cutting up cardboard packaging. Many objects have several different possible nets, so try cutting up the same shaped package to create a different net. Test each net by folding it back into the original object. (It helps to think first about which edges of the package to cut, and even to make a sketch first.)
  • take the Trick Shot challenge:
    Take close-up photos showing just one feature of an object.
    Challenge another person to work out what the object is.

Go online

For online reinforcement, Photo hunt: level 4 will give your child practice at:

  • practising visualisation skills in 3D and 2D.

Shapes glorious shapes will give your child practice at:

  • identifying the 3D objects that describe different iconic buildings.



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Last modified
7 April 2020