It was so exciting to see **Mrs. Hollman’s grade 1-2 class** fully engaged in a **geometry lesson about 2-D shapes**. I had taken in my Shape Sets (which I have discussed before in a previous blog) and used those as the basis of the lesson with the children.

We first sat in a circle and talked about some different shapes. I held up different shapes one at a time and **asked students to tell what they knew about or how they could describe each one**. For some shapes the children had specific names (triangle, rectangle, etc.) but we developed some new vocabulary as well (such as hexagon, pentagon, octagon, vertex, edges, etc.). I even went to far as to drop some **deeper thinking** into the lesson by saying, “every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.” That puzzled most of them, so I went on to say, “Every boy is a human, but not every human is a boy.” After saying that a couple of times I had many nods of agreement, so I said the square/rectangle one again. A few light bulbs went on 🙂

Next, while we were still in the circle, I passed out one shape from the set to each student. I then would hold a shape up and say something like, “My shape has three sides (or a curve, or more than four sides, etc). Does yours?” and students with corresponding shapes would hold them up.

Finally I modeled what the students were going to do at their desks. I used two shapes from the set and put them together on the board with magnets so they were touching. We talked about noticing **where the two shapes touched and the directionality of the lines**. Line by line I drew an image of the two shapes, asking questions of the class before I drew each line. Their task, I explained to the students, was to draw as carefully as possible a pair of two shapes. Students were instructed to lay the pieces on their desks, NOT on their paper, since **they were not to trace the shapes, but to draw them as best they could**. The students each took their one shape to their desks were they found a second shape waiting for them.

As there were several teachers in the classroom observing the lesson and who would be interacting with the students as they worked individually, I gave each teacher some of the extra shapes with the intention that once a student drew his pair of shapes, he could raise his hand, have a teacher comment on the drawing, and then exchange one of his shapes for a new one and repeat the process.

As you can see from the samples I have uploaded, the students did a good job of representing their pairs of shapes. Almost all of the students were able to complete three or more drawings in the given time. **Most children drew the shapes relatively close to actual size**, while a few had real difficulty with that (child C, for example, had difficulty with that).** The students were very engaged throughout the lesson, and we were able to lay the foundation for learning many new geometric words.**

I hope you try some shape drawing with your young students.

Mathematically yours,

Carollee

PS: May I make a point here of saying that **so many times we do not use proper terms with young children**, thinking that the terms are “too difficult” for them to learn. Not so!! They will learn and come to use the vocabulary that is modeled for them, so **please use lots of good math vocabulary.** Even if it all does not “stick” you are laying the ground for **“prior knowledge”** for the next time they hear the terms.

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Denise