Lesson plan

Punched-Out Shapes

Your students will get right to the point with this small group activity! Your students will use large push pins to punch out shapes, all while improving fine motor skills and creating class books to read when the activity is finished.
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Students will be able to identify, name, and describe a shape.

(1 minute)
  • Tell the students that today they are going to pin-punch shapes to make a class shape books.
  • Note: This can be done as a whole group before center time, or during small group instruction.
(7 minutes)
  • Using the shape models, review the shapes with your students.
  • Hold up a square and ask the students to name the shape. Once students have determined it is called a "square", review the number of sides and corners the shape has.
  • Once all of the shapes have been reviewed, model the pin-pushing for the students. Remind students how to hold the pin, and how to use it safely. Remind them to punch on paper only.
  • Model pin-punching along the shape's sides.

No guided practice is necessary. Teacher modeling provides instruction, and any necessary student help with holding the pin or poking the shape on the line can be done in the small groups.

(10 minutes)
  • You may do this activity on a rug, on carpet squares, or seated using mini cork boards.
  • Give each student a shape.
  • After each student has a shape, go around to each student, and have him hold up the shape, name it, and tell you how many sides and corners it has.
  • Give each student an extra large thumb tack.
  • Have students begin to pin-punch their shapes.
  • As they are pin-punching, ask questions about the shape, such as how many sides they have left to do and where the corners are.
  • Once the student has finished pin-punching the shape, either punch the shape out using the perforations created, or use scissors to cut the shape out.
  • Glue the shape onto the prepared book page. Have the student read the text to you after you have read the text.
  • If a student is unable to complete the pin-punching in the allotted small group time, have him complete it independently and glue it onto the page later.
  • Enrichment: Give advanced students shapes such as pentagons, hexagons, or octagons if they have already mastered the basic shapes. These students could also trace the shape using a stencil instead of having a ready made outline. Have the students copy or phonetically spell the words, "I can see a (color word) (shape word)."
  • Support: Give struggling students shapes that they are familiar with. Aid the student in completing the pin-punching. If the group of students is below grade level, and struggle with differentiating between a square and rectangle and a circle and oval, give the entire group those shapes so that their entire shape book reinforces the shapes they need help with.
(2 minutes)
  • Check if students are able to name the shape and identify the properties of the shape.
  • Note in your assessment tracking system any student unable to name the shape and its properties.
(5 minutes)
  • Read the shape book to the class as a whole, or to the small groups, if time permits. When reading, leave out the color word and the shape name for students to say.
  • This book may become part of your classroom library. You could laminate it for greater durability if you wish.

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