Composing Shapes – Definition with Examples

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Introduction

The word compose means to combine, create, or put together. In our daily life, we come across several geometric shapes. Have you ever combined two or more geometric shapes to form a new shape? For instance, have you taken two squares and joined them to form a rectangle? It must have seemed like a fun activity, wasn’t it? Well, such activities involving shapes can teach us several important concepts in geometry.    

Today, we shall learn more about the concept of composing shapes. So, let’s get started right away!

What Does Composing 2D Shapes mean?

Composing shapes means combining two or more simple shapes to create a larger shape. Simple shapes in geometry include triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, etc. While composing shapes, you can combine any of these shapes. You can use the same or different shapes to construct a new shape. You can even use sections of different shapes for this purpose.

Examples of Composing Shapes

Figure 1 shows two triangles combined to form a square. Here, two shapes that are the same have been used to create a new shape.

Fig: 1

Composing Square from Triangles

Figure 2 shows a shape composed by combining a square and a triangle. To make this new shape, two different shapes have been used.   

Fig: 2

Shape composed by square and triangle

Figure 3 shows a hexagonal shape formed by using three simple shapes. Among the simple shapes used here, two are triangles, and one is a square.

Fig: 3

Composing Hexagon from simple shapes

Figure 4 shows a heart formed by a square and two semicircles. Here, sections of a circle are combined with a square to form the new shape.

Fig: 4

Composing Heart from Square and Semi circles.

Fun Fact! 

A rectangle, a square, and a triangle may seem like three simple shapes. But they can combine to become a cute house, as shown in figure 5 below.

Fig: 5

Composing House from Simple shapes

Conclusion

Knowing how to compose shapes is an essential step for learning advanced math concepts, such as area, proportions, and fractions. Composing shapes helps in identifying and organizing visual information. It sets the stage for advanced geometric concepts.  

Solved Examples

Example 1: Name two simple shapes that you can use to compose the figure below?

Composed shape

Solution: The two simple shapes that we can use to compose the given figure are a triangle and a semicircle.

If we take a semicircle and a triangle, and place the semicircle in a way that it touches one of the sides of the triangle, we can get the shape shown here.    

Triangle and Semicircle used from composing shapes

Example 2: How can you compose an arrow shape using the shapes given below?

Triangle and Rectangle used from composing shapes

Solution: The given shapes are a triangle and a rectangle. We can compose an arrow shape using the given shapes as shown below:

Composed shape made by Rectangle and Triangle

Example 3:  Is it possible to compose a hexagon with the given shapes?

Simple shapes to compose hexagon

Solution: Yes, it is possible to compose a hexagon with the given shapes. 

If we arrange the shapes as shown in the figure below, we can create a hexagon using them.

Hexagon composed of simple shapes

Example 4: Can we form a pentagon using the two shapes given below?

Triangle and quadrilateral for composing shapes

Solution: Yes, we can form a pentagon using the given shapes. We can arrange the given shapes as shown below to form a pentagon:

Pentagon composed by simple shapes

Practice Problems

Composing Shapes - Definition with Examples

Attend this quiz & Test your knowledge.

1

Which of the following shapes can you use to create a rectangle?

Four rectangles
Four triangles
A square and two triangles
All of the above
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: All of the above
The figures below show how we can use the given shapes to create a rectangle.
Composing Shapes – Definition with Examples
2

What shape can you form using the given figures?

Composing Shapes – Definition with Examples
A triangle
A circle
An oval
None of the above
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: A triangle
Since the given figures have no curved edges, we can’t create a circle or an oval using them. But if we arrange the given figures as shown below, we can create a triangle.
Composing Shapes – Definition with Examples
3

Which of the following shapes can be formed using two equal triangles?

A square
A rectangle
A rhombus
All of the above
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: All of the above
If we arrange a pair of equal triangles as shown in the figures below, we can create a square, a rectangle, and a rhombus using them.
Composing Shapes – Definition with Examples

Frequently Asked Questions

While composing shapes, closed geometric figures are used.

A few curved figures used to compose shapes include a circle and an oval. A semicircle also has a curved edge and can be used to compose shapes.

Yes, we can compose shapes using real-life objects. For example, we can combine two triangle sandwiches to form a square or two square paper napkins to form a rectangle.