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This lesson provided by:
Author: Belle Sealy
System:Marengo County
School:Sweet Water High School
Lesson Plan ID: 6303

Identifying Solid Figures


This is a hands-on activity in which students identify and learn the characteristics of solid figures. Figures studied are squares (cubes), rectangles (rectangular prisms), circles (cylinders, cones and spheres), ovals, and triangles (cones). Candy is used to represent the shapes in the activity.

Content Standard(s):
TC2(K-2) 7. Use digital tools to access and retrieve information.
TC2(K-2) 10. Design original works using digital tools.
MA2013(K) 20. Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices or "corners"), and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length). [K-G4]
MA2013(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]
MA2013(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]
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to identify solid figures.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will correctly use the key content vocabulary words: faces and curves.

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 61 to 90 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Tootsie Rolls, Bugles snacks, gum balls, Now or Later candies, caramels, small Ziplock bags, basketball, pictures of a refrigerator, box, ice cream cone, square building block, oatmeal box, and pictures of solid figures

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access (optional), Kidspiration software (optional)


The teacher will review plane figures with the students by having individual students draw a square, rectangle, circle, oval and triangle on the board, and give the characteristics of each using the vocabulary words, corners and sides. The teacher will prepare a sealed Ziplock bag of candy/snacks for each child in the classroom with the items listed in the "Materials" section.

1.)Explain that solid figures are much like plane figures. Plane figure characteristics are corners and sides. Solid figures characteristics are corners, faces, and curves. Unlike plane figures, you can see more than one side of a solid figure. Solid figures are all around us. Many things you use or see eveyday are solid figures. Introduce the new key vocabulary words, faces and curves, by pointing out objects in the room to show the meaning of a face and a curve.

2.)Introduce the solid figure cube. Show the students a box. Explain a cube is a square shaped figure. It has six faces with four corners. The students will count the faces and corners with the teacher. Point out all six faces of the cube are equal in length. Look around the room for examples of a cube. Have the students walk around the room and point out the different cubes. Using a picture of a refrigerator, introduce the rectangular prism. Tell the children the rectangular prism is like a cube, but different. It has six faces and four corners in each face (count them), but they are different. The rectangular prism's four faces aren't all the same length. The faces across from each other are equal to each other. Have the students point out rectangular prisms in the classroom.

3.)Show the students an ice cream cone to introduce the solid shape, cone. The solid shape cone can be compared to the triangle. It has a face, curved sides, and it comes to a point at one end. If the students look directly at the face of the cone, it looks like a circle. Have the students think of some examples of cones. Introduce the solid figure cylinder by using an oatmeal box. Tell the children a cylinder has a face on its top and bottom. The sides of the cylinder are rounded. There are no corners on a cylinder. If you look directly at the top or bottom of the cylinder, it looks like a circle. Have student point out examples of cylinders they see in the classroom. Introduce the last solid figure, sphere, using a basketball. Tell the children a sphere is similar in shape to a circle but different. A sphere is round over the top and around the sides. It is unlike the cube or the rectangular prism but similar to the cylinder because it is curved. The sphere has no faces. Have the students give examples of spheres they might use at school.

4.)Students may use drawing software such as Paint to illustrate the five basic solid figures: cube, rectangular prism, cone, cylinder, and sphere.

5.)As an extension if Kidspiration software is available, have students visit Solid Figures Sort and sort figures by the number of faces they have.
(Solid Figures Sort)
Students use Kidspiration activity files to sort figures by shape.

6.)As a reinforcement have students examine photos of Washington landmarks and buildings on the Washington, DC, Monuments & Landmarks Web site. They are to identify the names of solid figures they find and tell where they are located in the picture and how they are used. (This site contains photos of notable buildings in Washington, D.C.)

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Assessment Strategies:

Divide the class into five groups. Give each group a picture of a cube, a rectangular prism, a sphere,and a cylinder. Have them talk together about what each picture represents. After a short time, have each group report to the main group what the solid figures. Students will be assessed on their ability to work cooperatively in groups and their accuracy in naming the correct solid figure. Give each student a bag of candy with a Tootsie Roll, a gum ball, a Bugle, a caramel, and a Now or Later. Give the following directions: 1) Hold up the shapes that have six faces. 2) Hold up the shape that has four sides that are equal. 3) Hold up the shape that has a flat bottom and top. 4) Hold up the shape that has only a flat bottom. 5) Hold up the shape that would represent a globe. Students will be observed by the teacher for the accuracy of the correct solid figure they hold in their hand. Afterwards, allow the students to eat the candy.


Using chart paper divided into 5 headings (cube, sphere, cylinder, cone, and rectangular prism) students will cut out solid figures from old magazines and paste them under each column. Their charts will be checked for accuracy by the teacher. Other possible extensions/reinforcements are included in Steps 4, 5, and 6.

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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