Lesson Plan

Exploring Shapes

Build student shape identification, comparison, and construction skills with this engaging lesson flow
Crystal B.
Classroom teacher
Mayo Elementary School
Mayo, SC
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to identify, compare and construct a variety of 2-D shapes.

Grades 1
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introduction (Whole Group)

Open the lesson with a class discussion on shapes. What shapes can we find in the classroom? What shapes have you seen on the playground? What common shapes do you see at home? Use Shape Lab (projected for sharing) to create the shapes named by students. Guide students to locate all grade level shapes found in the environment. Introduce the terms vertex, side, and equal when describing and comparing shapes. Revisit this whole group activity throughout the lesson flow as students notice more shapes in and around school and home.

Student Instructions

Students will discuss the shapes found throughout the group discussion, locate shapes found in their environment and use proper terms when describing shapes found.

2 Guided Practice (Small Group)

Activity: Creating

During a guided centers or choice time activity, challenge students to use modeling clay to create the shapes identified as a class during the lesson flow introduction. Use picture cards with shape names to support learning. Provide support as needed to develop appropriate math vocabulary needed to describe and compare shapes.

Student Instructions

Students will be working in stations to help build these skills by creating and identifying 2D shapes.

3 Independent Practice

Following the hands on practice with clay, students will have ample time (preferably over many days) to practice shape skills with these two fun apps made available on classroom tablets. Prior to tablet time, remind students to look for the target shapes, and follow up after practice time with a discussion about what shapes they encountered to reinforce skills.

Student Instructions

Students will practice shape skills with two fun apps.

4 Pre-Assessment (Small group or one on one)

Working in small groups, or better yet one-on-one, led students through several levels of this app to assess student knowledge. Asking questions as gameplay progresses is a great way to check learning and determine where support is needed. If required, have students repeat the independent practice apps, or pull out the clay and give a guided practice refresher.


Student Instructions

Student will use this Doodle Critter Math: Shapes to show their level of knowledge about shape and continue practice skills.

5 Assessment/Closing (one on one)

Activity: Creating

Assess student understanding by providing classroom materials (e.g. toothpicks and mini marshmallows, pipe cleaners, crayons/markers, etc.) to create, identify, and compare shapes. Asking questions in multiple ways will provide multiple opportunities to assess learning. For example, asking “Create and name the shape that has four equal sides?” and then later asking a student to “Draw a square.” Capture digital images of student creations to share with the class at the conclusion of the lesson flow. 

Student Instructions

Students will use materials to create, identify, and compare shapes.