The Platonic solids are five special 3D shapes. We will investigate what makes them special by creating them from their nets.
Start by printing these nets, then cut them out along the solid lines.
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Use crayons, pencils, or markers to colour them in however you like. Draw shapes and patterns on them - get creative!
When you're ready, fold them up along the dotted lines and use some tape to keep them together. They should look something like this:
Now that you have the solids, answer the following questions for each of them:
Write your answers in a table like this one:
|Face shape||Faces||Edges||Vertices||Edges meeting at vertex|
Each of these five shapes are named for the number of faces they have. The suffix "-hedron" means a solid shape with flat faces, and combining that with the right prefix will give you its name:
These "Platonic solids" are named after Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher who lived almost 2500 years ago. These shapes have been studied by philosophers and mathematicians in many different cultures across the world and all throughout history. What do you think makes them so special?
There are shapes with many more faces, like this one:
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The name of this shape is a truncated icosahedron (even though it has 32 faces). You may have seen shapes like these on the football field! Try cutting this one out as well to investigate it further.