Lesson plan

Where Is It?

Use a scavenger hunt, art activity, and stickers to help kindergarteners understand shapes and positional language.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Dancing Directions pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Dancing Directions pre-lesson.

Students will be able to describe objects using the names of shapes and describe the relative position of objects using the following terms: above, below, beside, in front of, next to, and behind.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Display a variety of shapes (triangle, square, rectangle, circle) on your white board or chart paper using precut paper shapes.
  • Review each shape by pointing to it and asking your students to identify it by name. Then help your students describe the shapes' attributes. Say, "A triangle always has three sides and three corners."
  • Explain that the class is going to practice finding shapes in the classroom and describing the position of the shapes using special math terms, called positional words. Positional words are words like "behind," "next to," or "in front of," and they help us tell someone where something is located.
(5 minutes)
  • Place your triangle in the middle of the board or chart paper. Then, place your circle next to the triangle.
  • Say, “I put the circle next to the triangle. Can someone show me where I should put the square if it is above the circle?”
  • Provide time for students to come up to the board and assist you in placing the shapes.
  • Continue to use your precut shapes to practice positional words with your students by asking them questions and having them place or point to the correct location of a given shape.
(10 minutes)
  • Point to your rectangle and ask your students if they see any objects in the classroom that are also in the shape of a rectangle.
  • Ask students to get up and search the room for a rectangle. When they find one, have students point to it and freeze.
  • Direct students to find an object that is above their rectangle and point to it. Support students as needed during this process to ensure their understanding of the positional words.
  • Continue asking students to identify a given shape in the room and practice using positional words while they are moving around the room.
  • When you finish with your last example, ask the class to return to the rug.
(15 minutes)
  • Display a copy of the Make a Shape Picture worksheet.
  • Explain that students will now get to to create a shape picture and then will use stickers to practice positional words. Show and example of how to cut out the shapes and create a shape picture.
  • Have students work independently on their shape pictures.
  • Circulate around the room supporting students as needed and asking them questions about their pictures. Say, "What shape is this? How do you know?"


  • Allow students to work in a strategic pair to make a collaborative shape picture and ask each other questions about their shapes.
  • Provide students with labels that include shape names to attach to their picture.


  • For more advanced students, let them cut out their own shapes using construction paper.
  • Ask students to label their shapes with the matching shape name.
  • Have students complete the Positions: Front or Back? worksheet.
(10 minutes)
  • Signal to your students that they should pause in their work if they are not yet finished.
  • Pass out a sheet of colorful dot or star stickers to each table of students.
  • Ask students to find a triangle in their shape picture and put their finger on it. Then, tell students to find the red sticker and place it beside the triangle.
  • Ask students to find a square in their shape picture and put their finger on it. Then, tell students to find the blue sticker and place it above the square.
  • Continue to follow this same format with the remaining shapes and positional words. You can use two stickers together if needed.
  • While students are following these directions, assess if they understand the positional words and the shape names.
  • Identify struggling students to pull for small group instruction as needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Get your students attention and choose one or two student shape pictures to share with the group.
  • Point out the shapes and the position of the stickers, using positional words.
  • If time allows, ask students to describe their pictures to the class.

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