Thursday, March 18, 2010


We are having a great time with shapes this year. The kiddos need to learn how to identify and draw a square, rectangle, triangle, and a circle.

Our first few lessons were what I call "Shape/Not Shape" lessons. The students looked at a group of squares and were told, "these are squares." Then we looked at another group of shapes that were not squares and, you guessed it, were told, "these are not squares." Then they were given a variety of shapes and asked to sort out the squares. We would discuss how they knew something was a square. It had four sides... it had four corners... the sides were the same.... yadda yadda. We did this for triangle and circle too. I will admit that I didn't do rectangle because I was getting bored with this... (so that means they were too!)

After Shape/Not Shape, we talked more about corners and sides. I made 231 tiny balls of clay (next year I will use something else!) and cut up a bunch of pipecleaners. The kids' job was to create each shape using the correct number of corners (clay) and sides (pipecleaners). This was superfun. Here are a few examples:

Then we brought out the geoboards. Now, I will be honest, I never used these with kindergarteners because I assumed I would spend more time dodging flinging rubber bands. Well, I was wrong. My kids ROCKED IT. Check it out.
Then we hit the grass. I put the kids in small groups and told them to make themselves into a shape. The remaining children had to thumbs-up or thumbs-down if the shape looked good enough for a picture. A side benefit of this activity was to see who emerged as a leader, and who didn't. Fascinating!
And we're not done yet! Today the kids will be searching for shapes in the classroom and drawing them. Tomorrow we will be making pictures using only shapes. I'll post the results. Happy Thursday!


ChiTown Girl said...

Wo do lots of these kinds of activities in our class, too. (Did you see the post I did of us making shapes on our carpet?) One of the things I've used in the past is marshmallows and toothpicks (they way you used the clay and pipe cleaners) Luckily I've never had an issue with the toothpicks, although I worry every year about someone getting stuck. I specifically buy the flat toothpicks to try and prevent that. I've always used geoboards with my kdg. kids and they always LOVE them. One more thing you can do is give the kids lengths of rope (or string or yarn, but rope is easier to see) and have them hold the rope to make shapes. Their hands are the corners, if that makes sense.

Looks like you had a great day!!

Teacher gardener said...

I also use the toothpicks and marshmallows. But I was thinking that perhaps toothpicks couldn't be used in kindergarten. How about spaghetti?

carly@LearningParade said...

Love those pipe cleaner shapes!
We do a pizza twist on shapes - we make up "pizza toppings" for the kids to stick on painted paper plates - triangle ham, circle pepperoni/olives, rectangle pineapple, square cheese etc. It's great for learning colours too. Then the kids add the sets of toppings to get a total.
For following instructions, the children make real pizzas, then complete a graphing activity - oh and the play corner is usually a pizzeria!

splatypus said...

I love the pizza idea!!!!!!! Colleagues do the marshmallows too, although they use straws. Less pokey. Both great ideas.

Jessica Meacham said...

How about using Gluedots?