August 20, 2015
by Margie Morrissey

Lesson plan

Solid Shape Sort

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Students will be able to identify different 3D solids given their characteristics.

(10 minutes)
  • Pass out a set of 3D shapes to each group as well as the 3D Shapes worksheets to each student.
  • Define a shape's faces as its flat sides, a shape's edges as the line where two faces meet, and a shape's vertices as the point where two edges meet.
  • Having students stay in their groups, have them examine the 3D shapes together to identify the number of faces, edges, and vertices each has.
  • Have students then look at the 3D Shapes worksheet to determine the names of the solids shown.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to think about the characteristics of each shape and how it determines how the shape could move. For example, can the shape roll? Can it be stacked?
  • Have students volunteer their thoughts and test them with the set of 3D shapes.
  • Review the number of sides, edges, and vertices each shape has once more.
(15 minutes)
  • With a partner, invite children to use the characteristics of the shapes to play I Spy.
  • In this game, students should take turns identifying solids by listening to clues such as, “I spy with my little eye something that can stack.”
  • Children get three guesses before another attribute is added, such as “I spy with my little eye something that can stack and has 6 faces.”
  • The student who guesses will have to explain how he or she knows. They will then give clues for the next object.
(10 minutes)
  • Students will work independently to complete the 3D Shapes worksheet.
  • Enrichment: Advanced students may write a more detailed entry in their math journals.
  • Support: Allow struggling students to continue to use the 3D shapes as they complete the lesson.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to hand in their worksheets when finished.
  • Have students write 4 sentences in their math journals about the characteristics of 3D shapes.
(5 minutes)
  • Bring students together to review the characteristics of solids and how we use those characteristics to sort 3D figures.

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