With this activity, students will identify shapes, build 3D shapes, and practice describing shapes with a partner.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Display examples of 2D and 3D shapes using blocks and flat shapes.
- Hold up a 2D shape, like a square, and ask students to identify the shape and share what attributes it has. Answers should include four sides, four corners, and a flat shape.
- Ask students to look around the classroom and find something in the shape of a square.
- Explain that this is a 2D shape. Say, “now I will show you some 3D shapes.”
- Show an example of 3D shapes like a cube, pyramid, triangular prism, and rectangular prism one at a time. Before showing a shape, pair up your students and have one partner cover their eyes. Have the other partner describe the shape to them. See if they can guess the shape based on the description.
- Explain that today they will be learning more about and building their own 3D shapes.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)
- Hold up each of the 3D shape blocks and review the attributes of each shape including the number of faces (or flat surfaces), corners, and vertices (or points) of each shape. Record this information on the whiteboard or chart paper next to each shape name.
- Tell the class that they will get to practice building models of 3D shapes that will include all of these attributes.
- Demonstrate how to use the art materials to create a 3D shape (such as a cube).
- Model thinking aloud as you make sure to include all of the shape attributes. Show the class how to draw an image of your 3D shape, labeling each of the attributes.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)
- Pass out a wooden block or example 3D shapes to each table or group of students for visual examples.
- Provide each group of students with clay, toothpicks, and a blank piece of paper to record their work.
- Encourage students to create as many different 3D shapes as they can.
- Circulate around the room asking guiding questions to encourage student thinking and discovery. What kind of shape is this? How do you know? How many faces does it have?
Independent Working Time (5 minutes)
- Pause students and ask them to record each 3D shape they built on their paper. Ask students to label each 3D shape drawing with the shape attributes.
- Provide struggling students with labeled 3D shapes to support them during the building process.
- Encourage students to build additional 3D shapes and describe each shape by the attributes.
- Ask students to design an imaginative 3D shape and build it.
Assessment (5 minutes)
- While circulating around the room, informally assess student understanding through questioning them about their shape models.
- Collect work samples and recording papers to check that students were able to accurately depict each shape and attributes.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Invite a few students to the front of the room to display and share their shape creation. Have them identify the shape by name and describe the associated attributes.
- Review 3D shapes and answer students' questions as needed.