Paper Prisms

Often the way we see shapes hides the important aspects of their properties from us. To get to know shapes and thus spatial relationships, one of the best ways is to make them.

This starts with shapes like squares. We know what a square looks like but until we try to make one, especially with odd materials like spaghetti or paper, We might miss the right-angles, equal length sides or diagonals that bisect at right-angles. By making them, we start to experience some of the properties as issues of construction.


Prisms are simply 2D shapes that you can imagine grew out of the paper to become 3-dimensional. If a circle did this, it would be come a cylinder. If a square were pulled out of the paper, it would become a cube or a cuboid. These are the most straight-forward shapes to turn into 3D shapes using paper.

We emphasise the shape of the faces when we build these shapes rather than the edges and vertices that we focus on when we build with spaghetti. Try creating some of your own prisms. You can start by downloading our templates.

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