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Grade 1 Mathematics Module 5, Topic A

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Grade 1 Mathematics Module 5, Topic A


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Type: Lesson/Unit Plan


In Module 5 students build on their exploration and knowledge of shapes from kindergarten. In Topic A, students identify the defining attributes of individual shapes. In Lesson 1, students use straws cut at various lengths to create and then classify shapes. A list of the attributes that are common to a set of shapes is created. As students create a new shape with their straws, they decide if it has all the listed attributes. The names of these shapes are intentionally omitted during this lesson to encourage students to use precise language as they describe each shape. In this way, students attend to, and clarify, a shape’s defining attributes (1.G.1). For instance, rather than describing a shape as a triangle, students must describe it as having three sides and three corners. As students sort the shapes as examples and non-examples, they do the thoughtful work that is depicted in the image to the right at a first-grade level. Students are introduced to the term attributes during this lesson and continue to use the new vocabulary throughout the lessons that follow. In Lesson 2, students connect defining attributes to the classification name. Along with circle, triangle, rectangle, and hexagon, which were introduced in kindergarten, students learn trapezoid and rhombus. Like in kindergarten, students see squares as special rectangles. In Lesson 3, defining attributes of three-dimensional shapes are explored. Along with the three-dimensional shape names learned in kindergarten (sphere, cube, and cylinder), students expand their vocabulary to include cone and rectangular prism. Students are presented with models of three-dimensional shapes as well as real-life examples to sort and classify based on their defining attributes. Students complete sentence frames that help to distinguish defining attributes from non-defining attributes. For example: “A [can] is in the shape of the [cylinder]. It has circles at the ends just like all cylinders. This cylinder is made of metal but some cylinders are not.”

Content Standard(s):
MA2019 (2019)
Grade: 1
21. Build and draw shapes which have defining attributes.

a. Distinguish between defining attributes and non-defining attributes.

Examples: Triangles are closed and three- sided, which are defining attributes; color, orientation, and overall size are non-defining attributes.
Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • build and draw two dimensional shapes.
  • define attributes such as number of sides and the name of the shape.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Defining attribute
  • Non defining attribute
  • Closed
Students know:
  • defining characteristics of basic shapes (triangles, rectangles, squares, circles).
Students are able to:
  • use defining characteristics to build/draw and identify basic shapes.
Students understand that:
  • shapes may be sorted by many sets of attributes, but their geometric classification is based on certain defining attributes.
Diverse Learning Needs:
Essential Skills:
Learning Objectives:
M.1.21.1: Define side, angle, closed and open.
M.1.21.2: Describe attributes of shapes.
Examples: number of sides, number of angles.
M.1.21.3: Identify two-dimensional shapes.
M.1.21.4: Sort two-dimensional shapes.
M.1.21.5: Identify basic attributes.
Examples: color, shape, size.

Prior Knowledge Skills:
  • Recognize attributes of shapes.
  • Identify cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres.
  • Identify squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, and hexagons.
  • Identify shapes in the environment.
  • Trace shapes.
  • Make purpose marks such as lines and circles.
  • Notice same/different and some/all.
  • Begin to name and match sizes and shapes.
  • Enjoy playing with all kinds of objects.
  • Point to matching or similar objects.
  • Understand that words can label sameness and differences.
  • Sort objects on the basis of shape or color.
  • Understand and point to a triangle, a circle, a square and rectangle.
  • Understand the concept of same shape and size.
  • Understand that some have more, and some have less.
  • Name and match primary colors.
  • Sort objects on the basis of both color and shape.
  • Sort a variety of objects in a group that have one thing in common.
  • Recognize and sort familiar objects with the same color, shape, or size.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.1.21 Determine similarities and differences among shapes of the same size or different sizes and orientations (limited to circle, square, rectangle, and triangle).

Tags: attributes, geometry, shapes
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There are three lessons in this topic.

This resource is free for teachers to access and use. All resources required for the lessons are available to print from the site. 

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Author: Hannah Bradley