EL Support Lesson

It's a Shape Zoo!

Preschool students will love getting creative as they make shape animals while learning all about 2D shapes in this fun lesson! It can be used as a stand alone or support lesson plan for the Shapes and Shadows lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Shapes and Shadows lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Shapes and Shadows lesson plan.

Students will be able to identify the shapes square, rectangle, and triangle.


Students will be able to describe characteristics of 2D shapes using sentence frames and visual supports.

(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class together for a read-aloud.
  • Draw a triangle, square, and rectangle on the board.
  • Ask students, "What do you see?"
  • Have students turn and talk to share with a partner what they see using the sentence starter, "I see ____."
  • Explain that all of these are shapes. A shape is the outline of something. Today you will be learning about 2D or flat shapes.
(5 minutes)
  • Read aloud the book, Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.
  • Create an anchor chart with the different shapes and shape names that come up as you read the story. Then have students repeat shape names after you (e.g., triangle).
  • Pause as you read to note the different shapes you see in the story. Ask students to pay attention to the different animals.
  • Model thinking aloud as you describe each shape's characteristics, "This is a triangle. It has three sides and three corners."
(5 minutes)
  • Demonstrate how to use the pattern blocks to make animals, like in the story (doing this in the center of a circle on the floor is useful).
  • Ask for a student volunteer to choose several shapes for you to use in your picture.
  • Pass out pattern blocks to each student and ask them to make an animal using at least one square.
  • Have students turn and talk to share what they made with a partner. Provide students with the sentence frame: "I made a ____. I used ____ and ____."
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that students will now get to create their own shape animal pictures using pre-cut shapes and gluing them onto paper.
  • Model choosing one animal to make, and using the different shapes, glue, and googly eyes to create that animal.
  • Review any expectations around materials and moving around the classroom.
  • Pass out materials and have students get to work.


  • Work with a smaller group to create a joint shape picture. Allow all students to participate and find different shapes to use.
  • Ask students to describe one of the target shapes using sides or corners in their description using the sentence frame: "I used a ____. I know it is an ____ because it has ____."


  • Have students design an additional shape picture.
  • Ask students to describe the shapes they used in their picture to a partner.
(5 minutes)
  • As students are describing their pictures, assess their ability to differentiate between shapes. Can they identify what makes a shape a square vs. a rectangle?
  • Take note of any common mistakes (e.g., square has 4 sides, so any 4-sided shape must be a square) to address.
(3 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and collect the shape pictures. Display the pictures on tables or walls.
  • Invite the students to walk around the room and have them walk around the class "Shape Gallery" noting what animals were made and which shapes were used.
  • Ask a few students to share about their picture to the class.

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