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How many faces does a sphere have?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by chocciemad, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone, sorry for sounding ignorant but I am doing my homework before teaching 3d shape tomorrow to my Year1's. Can you tell me how many faces a sphere has as the internet keeps telling me different things!

  2. Thanks impulce that is what I thought but wanted to be sure!
  3. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    None, it has a surface but not a face!
  4. not as many faces as my ex headteacher!
  5. www.numeracysoftware.com has a good page on the properties of 3-D shapes.
  6. A Sphere has no faces.
    According to the QCA definition, a face is the flat surface on a shape.
    It may be possible to suggest that a sphere has 1 curved face but as 'face' means flat surface then it clearly has none.
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    But then would you also say a cylinder has only two faces?
  8. There's a KS1 past sats paper where you sort 3D shapes according to the number of faces, and the correct answer on that is that a sphere has one face. So I'd go with that.
  9. coffeecakes

    coffeecakes New commenter

    I was always taught that a circle has an infinite number of sides (as a perfect circle is impossible) - not one. So I would use the same logic to suggest that a sphere has an infinite number of faces.
  10. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yes - think about a regular polygon, the more sides it has the closer and closer you get to a circle. There are interactive whiteboard demos of this. Same equivalent for a sphere. KS1 shape stuff is wrong in lots of different ways. It might be best if they just left it at this is a triangle, this is a square, this is an oblong, this is a triangle, and here are the 3d equivalents and did the rest later!!
  11. A sphere has no faces.As someone has already said it has one curved surface.
    A cylinder has 3 faces (2 circular, 1 rectangular)
  12. brookey1970

    brookey1970 New commenter

    Sorry to hijack but, on a related note: is a cylinder a prism?

    FAIRYDELL New commenter

    Yes, see above post.
  14. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Spindrift kind of yes and kind of no. The more interesting way of thinking about it is to imagine a regular polyhedron, imagine the number of sides increasing and increasing ........ it would be tending towards a sphere. But yes for KS1 and KS2 the one curved surface idea is the correct answer - but it does stop the thinking about something way more interesting.
    Yep a cylinder is a prism as wherever you chop it through transversely the cross-section stays the same..... oh and a cone could be viewed as a type of pyramid ...........
  15. KatQatresources

    KatQatresources New commenter

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