Lesson Plan

Know Your Shapes!

In this lesson, your students will become familiar with shapes by identifying them in real life. Your students will love identifying how many sides shapes have by drawing and counting them!
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Triangle Time pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Triangle Time pre-lesson.

In this lesson, young learners will be introduced to defining and non-defining attributes (e.g., a circle is round and a closed shape) of common shapes such as circles, triangles, and rectangles. Ideal for first graders, children will learn the differences between two-dimensional shapes and identify them and their attributes. Kids will be tasked with a shape hunt to find circular, triangular, and rectangular shapes in either their home or classroom. They will then draw them. This lesson provides young mathematicians with a great introduction to geometry!

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify defining attributes of basic shapes. Students will be able to identify the number of sides that a triangle, rectangle, square, and circle have.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Everyday CirclesEveryday RectanglesEveryday Triangles
  • Ask your students if they know what defining attribute means.
  • Explain that it means a characteristic that specifically describes something. For example, a ball is round, so round is its defining attribute.
  • Ask your students to define non-defining attribute now that they know what a defining attribute is.
  • Explain that it is a characteristic that could be there one day but could be changed the next day. For example, the orange ball could be painted red, and then it would be a red ball.


  • Show students real objects such as different types and sizes of balls, or photographs of real objects.


  • Draw a shape such as a triangle on the board, and change the non-defining attibutes by coloring it different colors, drawing it bigger or smaller, and drawing it upside down or sideways.
  • Tell students that although the triangle may look different, we know that it is a triangle because it is a flat, closed shapes with three staight sides and three corners.

Related Guided Lesson

Geometry 3

7 games
1 song video
1 interactive story
5 printable worksheets
View Guided Lesson
first grade
Subject Math