2D Shapes

When investigating primary geometry, students are commonly only presented with ‘traditional’ shapes. This limits their understanding of the properties of these shapes.

For example, many teaching resources and children’s books always show triangles like this:

Shapes should be presented in varying orientations. Additionally, a variety of shape examples should be used. Young students need to see that not all triangles are equilateral. By seeing a range of shapes, they learn to recognize the properties of triangles, not just equilateral triangles.

Another issue for Kindergarten is squares and rectangles. True definitions are complicated for this grade level, and not really our goal anyway. We do want students to realize that a square is a special kind of rectangle. This rhyme typifies the approach:

If it’s the same size everywhere, it’s not just a rectangle; it’s a square!

Shape Bingo
This set of bingo cards includes non-traditional triangles, longer rectangles, and varied orientations. Calling cards included. Copyright Frank Tapson
Shape Flash
This is a quick visual activity well suited to a few minutes of oral / mental math at the start of lessons. Shapes are flashed by turning the overhead on and off, and students agree or disagree with the given category.
Make a Shape Picture
Students make a picture using 2D shapes. Directions and recording page, contributed by Cheryl Hopkins.
Shapes Poem
This is not original – but I can’t remember where it came from. If you know, tell me so I can reference it.


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