Lesson Plan

Discover How Shapes & Patterns Describe the World

Kindergarten students will use a growth mindset to focus on the problem solving strategy of using logical reasoning and/or finding a pattern or rule to sort, classify, and create their own designs and patterns with shapes.
Emily S.
Technology coordinator
Holly Hills Elementary School
Denver, CO
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
Objectives

Students will use logical reasoning and/or find a pattern or rule using a growth mindset to identify, classify, and create models with shapes and patterns found in the world.

Transferable Goal: Scientists and mathematicians look for patterns and structure in everything (living and nonliving) to help them understand the world.

World Class Outcomes:

  • Examine patterns (and shapes) found in the world

Enduring Understanding:

  • Relationships create patterns.

Overarching Essential Questions:

  • How can shapes help describe the world?
  • Is there a pattern?

Topical Essential Questions:

  • What whole can be made from these parts? What’s left? What should be taken away?
  • How are structure and function related in living things?

 

Subjects
Math
patterns
shapes
Science
Grades K - 1
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Pre-planning: Use the app book creator to make a math wonder journal for students.  Students can record their their voice, pictures, and videos in this journal to capture their thinking, reasoning, and problem solving throughout this unit.

Let students animate shapes using the iPad app Easy Studio - Introduction to Animation. There are 5 levels, and as they move up levels, the shapes are used to create pictures.  Have students save at least one animation to the camera roll and insert it as a video into their math wonder journal created with the app book creator.  Ask students what they noticed about how the shapes created pictures. Do they notice how other shapes in the world are used to create pictures? Can they use shapes to create their own pictures, patterns, or designs?

Have students record their thinking in their wonder journal by recording their voice. This can serve as a pre-assessment to capture their thinking before they explore shapes and patterns in this unit.

2 Direct Instruction & Guided Practice

Model for students how to use a tree map to categorize shapes . For example, show them how to sort a collection of shapes according to how many sides the shapes have. (3-Dimensional/2-Dimensional, number of sides, number of angles).  Capture your think aloud by taking pictures of the tree map you created and using the app Explain Everything to record your logical reasoning using the pointer tool and drawing tools describe your tree map. Save your recording to the camera roll as a video and insert it into your math wonder journal. 

Have students create their own tree map and sort the same items in different ways than the ones modeled.  Promote a growth mindset by having students discuss the different choices they made by answering questions such as:

  • Why did you choose to group these 2 shapes together? Did anyone group these 2 shapes separately? Why?
  • What is the same about your tree map and the tree map I made? What is different?
  •  Why do all these different tree maps work?

Students capture their think aloud  in the same way using Explain Everything and  insert it into their wonder journal. This can be done over several weeks introducing a different example each day.

3 Independent Practice

Skitch
Free, Paid
Book Creator
$2.49-$4.99

Get students wondering by watching videos on  Wonderopolis.  Then let students use logical reasoning to explore patterns by creating their own models and patterns during math centers and recording their thinking in their math wonder journals.  

Try  using some of these videos and a corresponding math center:

Wonderpolis: Who Invented Legos

​Wonderpolis: What Can You Mine With Mindcraft?

EQ: What Shape can be made from these parts?

Have a variety of legos, tangrams, etc. and have students create larger shapes or pictures with the pieces. Encourage a growth mindset by asking questions such as:

How did you use smaller shapes to create larger shapes or pictures?  (For example, students might share that they used 6 triangles to create a hexagon.)

Did you ever get stuck when creating your design? What new strategy did you use to solve the problem?

Differentiate: Instead of making a bigger picture with smaller pieces, can you create  the same design on a smaller scale using different pieces?

Students can capture this thinking and reasoning by taking pictures with the iPad camera and labeling the parts of their design using the app skitch.  After saving the pictures to the camera roll, they can insert them into their math wonder journal (created with the iPad app book creator at the beginning of this lesson) and record their answers to the growth mindset questions by recording their voice in the journal.

Wonderopolis: Why does pasta come in so many shapes?

Get different kinds of pastas and sort it into different 3D shape categories. Encourage a growth mindset by asking questions such as:

Why did you put these shapes together? Did anyone sort them into different groups? Why?

How would a chef sort pasta? How would a mathematician sort pasta?  Why do different people sort in different ways?

How many different groups can you sort the pasta into?

Students can capture this thinking and reasoning by taking pictures with the iPad camera and labeling how they sorted their groups using the app skitch.  After saving the pictures to the camera roll, they can insert them into their math wonder journal (created with the iPad app book creator at the beginning of this lesson) and record their answers to the growth mindset questions by recording their voice in the journal.

Wonderopolis: What Makes a Pyramid?

Use legos, pasta,  blocks (or any medium) to try to create a pyramid.  Encourage a growth mindset by asking questions such as:

How many different shapes can you use to create the base of your pyramid? (For example, the base can be a square, triangle,  or rectangle)

What materials do you think make the best pyramid? Why?

Did you ever get stuck when creating your pyramid? What new strategy did you use to solve the problem?

Students can capture this thinking and reasoning by taking pictures with the iPad camera and labeling the parts of their pyramid using the app skitch. After saving the pictures to the camera roll, they can insert them into their math wonder journal (created with the iPad app book creator at the beginning of this lesson) and record their answers to the growth mindset questions by recording their voice in the journal.

These activities can be used as a formative/Interim assessment:

Students will begin to demonstrate openness to ambiguity in exploring ideas by generating questions,  looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning, and recording that thinking in a wonder journal. Students will usually persevere when presented with challenges and explain their  ideas about how to best answer inquiry questions such as: What shape can be made from these parts? Is there a pattern? How can shapes help describe the world?

4 Wrap Up/Summative Assessment

Goal: Students will  examine patterns and shapes found in the world by taking pictures of the patterns and shapes they find around the school/playground.

Role: photographer

Audience: Classmates

Situation: With support, kindergarteners will explain their ideas about how to answer the inquiry question: How can shapes help describe the world? Is there a pattern?

Performance: Using digital media to enhance their communication, students will use the app Explain Everything to trace at least three shapes (2D and 3D)  found in the picture(s) they took around the school. (For example, students may find that the brick wall is a pattern of rectangles that repeats.) They will record their voice as they clearly and accurately describe how the objects in their picture can be sorted or categorized by their physical properties and describe why their ideas make sense. Their Explain Everything video will be turned into a QR code using qrstuff.com The students' photographs will  be displayed in a classroom gallery with QR codes that can be scanned in order to hear student thinking about the photograph.