Sunday, 19 June 2016

Hands-On Ideas for Teaching 2D Shape!


If you've read my blog before you probably know all about my passion for ensuring that little learners explore concepts in a hands-on way! Today I thought I'd share some ideas for teaching 2D shape that will keep your kidlets' hands and minds busy.

For the beginning of the year I love to use this song - to the tune of 'If You're Happy and You Know It'. (I didn't come up with it - it was a gift from Pinterest many years ago!)  Before you begin, make sure each student has one each of the shapes you'd like to focus on.  Either give them blocks or pre-cut card, or have them cut around paper templates.  The song goes like this (just change the shape name each time):

Put your {square} in the air, in the air!
Put your {square} in the air in the air!
Put your {square} in the air and wave it 'round up there,
Put your {square} in the air, in the air!

This activity is perfect for the beginning of your 2D shape learning because it focuses on simple shape recognition.  At the end of each verse you can ask questions about the shape if you like or talk about the properties in a more detailed way.

During this stage of learning I also like to include some informal shape work - usually in fine motor groups first up in the morning or as a maths craft.  The photo below came from Pinterest as I don't have one of it in action in my own room.


Make up a collection of coloured paper shapes.  Laminate them if you'd like to use them long term!  Simply provide kidlets with a board/table space to design a picture using the shapes.  As they work you can ask lots of questions and talk about the shapes and how they are the same or different.  For example, "How many triangles have you used?" or "A square has 4 straight sides, do any other shapes?"  I prefer to use the laminated shapes during morning work for a while and then have the kidlets create a collage with paper and glue as a maths craft.

The biggest unexpected hit in my classroom during 2015 was this simple activity that I came up with to fill a spare 10 minutes.


I cut some shapes from old cardboard boxes we had in the room and put one at a time in the feely bag (my fancy name for an old Toms shoe bag!).  I blindfolded one kidlet and asked them to feel inside the bag and guess which shape was in there.  Of course, they need to know how many sides each shape has, whether they are straight or curved and the shape name - so this is a great activity to discover if any kidlets aren't quite getting it.  I was very surprised to see that everyone was just desperate to have a turn feeling inside the bag, so I ended up putting it and the shapes out for discovery play time.  For the few weeks afterwards I would see pairs and small groups of kidlets playing the guessing game independently. :)

For a whole class activity I love "I Have, Who Has?" This version includes colours and comes in 2 levels (one with 'trickier' shapes!). 



I have two all-time favourite 2D shape crafts!  The first is a shape ice-cream!



To make this craft just print out some shape outlines on coloured paper (I make mine in Powerpoint) and some labels on white paper.  Give each kidlet one of each and have them glue the labels on each shape before assembling their ice-cream.  (I use a second triangle for the cone).

Next up is a shape pizza!


Normally you would paint the paper plate pizza dough coloured before you complete this craft... but I must have been pushed for time the year I took this photo! :)  Cutting out the little shapes is a great job for parent helpers (they can even do them at home) - use a circle punch to make it easier though.  Kidlets go ahead and make their pizza, and then record the number of each shape they have used.  {If you're anything like me the first time you do this activity you will cut enough shapes for 6000 pizzas and use the shapes for years after!}

Now time for a couple of tasks perfect for small group rotations or centers.  2D shape learning fits perfectly with patterning concepts, as often times we ask kidlets to create patterns using colour and then shape.  I use pattern blocks all the time and love these pattern block cards - children copy and continue the patterns shown.


We also love to 'Link-it-Up'!



I hope you've found an idea or two that you can use in your classroom! Thanks for stopping by today. :)

1 comment:

Thanks for popping by!