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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Carla Morgan
System: St Clair County
School: Springville Elementary School

  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 26199


What Can Shapes Be....


This is a hands-on lesson that will help students explore shapes in their environment. Students will work in diverse groups to complete this activity. Students will make a class book of their findings.

This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (K)
17. Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to. [K-G1]
MA2015 (K)
18. Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size. [K-G2]
MA2015 (K)
22. Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. [K-G6]
Example: "Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle'"
MA2015 (1)
19. Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes. [1-G1]
MA2015 (1)
20. Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape. (Students do not need to learn formal names such as "right rectangular prism.") [1-G2]
MA2015 (2)
24. Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces. (Sizes are compared directly or visually, not compared by measuring.) Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes. [2-G1]
ELA2015 (K)
31. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. [SL.K.1]
a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion). [SL.K.1a]
b. Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges. [SL.K.1b]

Local/National Standards:

NCTM Kindergarten

Geometry: Describing shapes and space
Children interpret the physical world with geometric ideas (e.g., shape, orientation, spatial relations) and describe it with corresponding vocabulary. They identify, name, and describe a variety of shapes, such as squares, triangles, circles, rectangles, (regular) hexagons, and (isosceles) trapezoids presented in a variety of ways (e.g., with different sizes or orientations), as well as such three-dimensional shapes as spheres, cubes, and cylinders. They use basic shapes and spatial reasoning to model objects in their environment and to construct more complex shapes.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The students will discover shapes in their environment.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

The students will illustrate their favorite findings to make a class book.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Doods, building blocks, assessment handout, construction paper, crayons, pencils, clipboards, staples or ribbon.

Technology Resources Needed:

  • Computer with LCD projector, presentation software (sample presentations included in attachments)
  • Computer with Internet connection for Sammy's Shapes


Be sure to check that computer has presentation software.

  1. Say, "What are shapes? We are going to do a fun activity to learn all about different shapes."
  2. Choose which shapes presentation you wish to show. Show the shapes presentation on LCD projector and discuss each slide. (You may wish to show the other presentation to check for understanding or review.)
  3. Ask the students, "Have you seen any of these shapes? Tell me where you saw them."
  4. Let student's, as a whole group, play the Internet game Sammy's Snakes to reinforce learning.
  5. Read The Shape of Things. As you read stop and ask questions and allow student's to recall the different shapes from the book.
  6. After reading the book, explain "You will work in assigned small groups with building blocks to explore how different blocks can be incorporated into your own constructions. You will work together to share and develop your ideas." Encourage children to spend time exploring the blocks, discussing how they can be used and planning their constructions together. Provide adequate time for planning and construction. Offer assistance if needed.
  7. Say, " We are going on a shape hunt. I am going to give you a data sheet. You will write your findings on this sheet." (You may want to do an example data sheet in the classroom of the shapes you find in the classroom for your struggling students.)
  8. After the shape hunt, allow students to use construction paper and crayons and draw their favorite shape and what the shape made from the shape hunt.
  9. After the students are finished assemble a "Shapes Can Be".... class book.

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Assessment Strategies

Use shape hunt data handout from attachment to do a quick assessment. (Student's may mix up rectangles and squares.)


Let student's pantomime different shapes.

Physical models of a cube, cone, sphere, cylinder, rectangular prism, and triangular prism

Matching Illustrations and Solids

Give each group of students a set of physical models of the geometric solids and a set of pictures of geometric solids cut from Shape Cards Sheet. Have the students match each solid with its illustration. As you circulate, observe students' actions and listen to their conversation for ongoing assessment. As you move among the students ask helpful questions, such as:

  • What do you notice about the shape shown on this card?
  • Which of the solids is like that?
  • What shape are the faces of the figure in the picture?
  • Which of the solids has faces in that shape?



Assign a peer tutor to struggling students.

Shape Hunt Game-   Students pick cards from a collection of shape cards from the Shape Cards Sheet and try to find an example of each shape. The hunt can take place within the classroom, throughout the school, at home, etc. Players can try to be the first to find all their shapes. Or they can try to find the most shapes in a given time.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
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