Trapezoids are an exciting and challenging new shape that your student will start to learn about around first grade. Trapezoids are defined as 4-sided flat shapes with straight sides where at least one pair of those opposite sides are parallel. To learn some basics about trapezoids, scroll to the bottom of the page, or dive into our resources to begin mastering these geometric shapes.
Learn More About Trapezoids
Trapezoids can be a little difficult to work with at first because they are very different from the other 4-sided shapes, such as squares and rectangles. We’ve put together properties and common equations for trapezoids so that you can help your student become a pro at working with trapezoids.
- Trapezoids have a pair of parallel sides
- Trapezoids are called isosceles trapezoids when both angles coming from a parallel side are equal, and sides that aren’t parallel have an equal length
- Bases: the parallel sides
- Legs: the sides that aren’t parallel
- Altitude: The distance at right angles from one base to the other
- Area = ((a+b)÷2)×h, where a and b are the lengths of the bases and h is the altitude
- Perimeter = a + b + c + d, where a, b, c, and d are lengths of all the sides
- Median = (a+b)÷2, where a and b are lengths of the bases
: In the United States, a trapezium is a quadrilateral with no parallel sides while in the United Kingdom, a trapezoid is used to refer to a quadrilateral with no parallel sides.
Now that you know some trapezoid basics, scroll up to see our resources. With our various games and worksheets, your child will be a master at working with trapezoids in no time! Afterward, you can move over to our Pentagons page
to learn how to work with 5-sided shapes.