Reinforce your child’s understanding of geometry and 2D shapes while learning about the artist Mary Blair and her amazing contributions to many loved movies, books, and characters throughout her career.
Little learners become shape-shifters as they search for and manipulate 2-D shapes. There are several tangram activities, which are a hands-on way to teach preschool and lower elementary students basic shapes, including squares, circles, and triangles. These activities develop early geometry skills as students decompose and reconstruct a variety of shapes. Handouts keep things fun with coloring. For a review, visit our 2-D shapes resources.
Once students understand two dimensional shapes and their attributes, such as lines, angles, and vertices, they will be able to expand on their geometric understanding by beginning to decompose shapes. Decomposing shapes is the process of breaking particular shapes into other shapes.
Given a large geometric shape, students are asked to break it up into smaller, known shapes. These large shapes can be known shapes themselves or simply abstract shapes. For example, a rectangle with the dimensions of 1 unit by 2 units could be broken up into two squares, each 1 unit by 1 unit. Each of those two squares could be broken up into two right triangles, each with legs 1 unit long and sharing a hypotenuse that bisects the square.
Decomposing abstract shapes allow the students to see known shapes in a larger plane. This will teach the students that there are many ways to decompose shapes. This also shows them how to determine the area of abstract shapes. Once they learn the formula to determine the area of known shapes, breaking an unknown shape into known shapes with known dimensions will allow them to determine the area of all of the known shapes and sum them to determine the total area of the abstract shape.
Using the resources provided by Education.com above may help students begin to understand how to decompose complex shapes into simple ones and lay the foundation for learning that three dimensional shapes consist of many two dimensional shapes.