Hip-Hop Hierarchy

Mary Keller

Students will use a coordinate grid system to create quadrilaterals. Students will move directionally along a coordinate grid to change their quadrilateral (ex: square to rhombus) (rectangle to parallelogram). Students will create a quatrain poems to describe the attributes of 2-D polygons. Students will create a Garage Band track and record quatrains to create a rap defining polygons.
1. How are the attributes of a shape used to determine a hierarchy?
2. How does the coordinate system connect to the concepts of geometry, algebra, and measurement?
3. How can musical patterns and rhyme be used to define the Hierarchy of Polygons?


Shower curtain or chalk
Flat surface such as a blacktop
A,B,C,D signs, preferably on a string to wear
Yarn or stretchy bands
Chart paper
Notebook paper
iPad with Garage Band


1. Teacher will create a coordinate grid either on a shower curtain or on a black top. Teacher will add a compass rose for students to use when moving on the grid. The grid must be large enough to contain the ordered pair (7,7). Teacher will divide the class into groups of 4. Each group will have a representative for the letters A-D.

2. Group 1 will be called to the Coordinate Plane. Teacher will give each student a stretchy band and a set of ordered pairs. Order pairs should be given in alphabetical order.
A – (2,2)
B – (2,4)
C – (4,4)
D – (4,2)

3. Once students have found their place on the grid they are to connect the stretchy bands to make the polygon, in the case square. Teacher will facilitate a conversation about the attributes of a square: what do you notice about polygon, what attributes to you see, how would you define this polygon? Note: Square, 90-degree angles and same length sides. Next, teacher will ask B and C (still holding the stretchy bands) to move 2 blocks (units, lines) to the East. They should now be at (4,4) and (6,4). Teacher will facilitate the same conversation with this shape. Note: Rhombus, same length sides, opposite angles congruent

4. Teacher will continue this activity through all quadrilaterals:

A – (2,2)
B – (2,4)
C – (6,4)
D – (6,2)
To make the parallelogram have A and D move two blocks West

A – (0,2)
B – (2,4)
C – (4,4)
D – (6,2)
To make a Right Trapezoid move B two blocks West
There is also an isosceles trapezoid if you would like to include that.

A – (3,7)
B – (1,5)
C – (3,1)
D – (5,5)

Differentiation Approaches

Each group can write a quatrain on a given polygon then lay those on a prerecorded track on Garage Band.


Give each group a polygon different that the one they made. Give each group 1 minute to write down everything they know about their polygon. They should list attributes and angles. Also, what else that shape can be named and what it cannot be named.

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

Teacher will begin by giving each student a sticky note and asking them to use the note to write down anything they notice about the attributes of the song. Teacher will play rap song (see link for appropriate rap songs: http://www.complex.com/music/2013/09/10-rap-songs-you-can-listen-to-with-your-kids/) . Teacher will elicit students’ responses. Teacher will ask students to turn-n-talk: How can we use the pattern of rap to define the attributes of polygons? Elicit responses.

Teacher will introduce Quatrain poetry (see link for examples http://www.kidspot.com.au/things-to-do/activities/how-to-write-poetry-quatrains) Teacher will have students identify the patterns: 1,2,1,2 or 1,1,2,2. Teacher will model for students how to use the structure of quatrain poetry to write a rap about the attributes of polygons.

Square is made of four equal sides
Opposite sides and angles the same
90 degree angles inside its corner hides
Square fits most categories with no shame.

Students will work in partnerships or small groups to write quatrains of each shape.

Teacher will revisit elicited student responses re: rap and patterns. Teacher will model how to use Garage Band on the iPad to create rhythm and patterns using different instruments and time measures. Each group will be given time to explore Garage Band. Next, students will create and save a track. Students will record their quatrain poems to the track they created. Note: while recording students may make edits to their writing or their tracks.

Assessment: Teacher and students will work together prior to the recoding of the Quatrain to develop a rubric. Quatrains must accurately define polygons and fit the pattern or rhythm of their track. Garage Band concert! Students will share their recordings during a celebration.

Additional Details

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