The Making of a Hexagon

2 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT make bigger shapes out of smaller shapes by putting them together.

Big Idea

Kindergartners love puzzles. This activity draws out their natural curiosity and ignites it in those who don't start school with much. They use smaller attribute blocks to fill in the hexagon spaces on the page and share what they have created.

Daily Calendar & Counting Review

15 minutes

Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.

Calendar Time:

We do calendar on Starfall every afternoon.  This website has free reading and math resources for primary teachers. It also has a  “more” option that requires paying a yearly fee. The calendar use is free. A detailed description of Daily Calendar math is included in the resources.

Counting with online sources: Today we did counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. We watched two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) because some of my students students were still struggling with identifying numbers correctly in random order. We watched "Shawn the Train" and counted objects with him to refresh our memories on how to count objects to ten and to reinforce one to one counting. Since we have started the second quarter of the school year, we added to today's counting practice: counting to 20 forward and back, counting by tens to 100 and counting to 100 by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

I begin the lesson by reviewing our hexagon chart. We talk about the attributes of the hexagon.

Me (holding up a hexagon die cut): What do we call this shape?


Me: Well, what makes this shape a hexagon? What can you tell me about this shape?

Students (names randomly picked one at a time from popsicle sticks in a jar) are provided with the sentence stem, "The hexagon has __________."

Student 1: The hexagon has six points.

Me: What are those points called? (If student is unable to answer, I ask another student to "help" him or her. (I circle the points on the hexagon.)

Student: The points are called corners (some say vertex or angle - any is accepted)

Me: What else makes this shape a hexagon? What else can you tell me about it?

Student 2: The hexagon has six sides. (If the student doesn't use a complete sentence to answer, guide them into rephrasing their answer into a complete sentence using the sentence frame.)

Me: Awesome! A hexagon has six corners and six sides (I number the sides of the hexagon on the chart).

Once we connect with our prior learning, i hold up a hexagon attribute block and a small triangle attribute block.

I self-talk: I wonder if one of these little triangles would fit inside this hexagon. I lay it on the hexagon so they can see that the triangle is smaller and "inside" the hexagon.

I self-talk: I wonder if I could fit more than one triangle in the hexagon. I place the hexagon with the triangle on top of it under the doc cam for students to see easier on the ActiveBoard screen.

I self-talk: Maybe if I flip the triangle or slide it, it will I could fit more. I demonstrate flipping and sliding the triangle on the hexagon.

Once it's in place, I add another and act surprised at how they fit.

I continue adding triangles until the hexagon is full and I count the triangles as I remove them one at a time. My students often get excited at this point and clap.

Me: Okay, now it's your turn. I want you to try to fill hexagons with other shapes. Remember, they have to fit perfectly when you're done. I use the doc cam to show a few more examples and non examples using triangles, trapezoids, rhombuses and I suggest squares to challenge them.

Me: Once you have filled a hexagon, share what you did with your friends at your table. They can copy you if it helps them learn.

Management tip: To call on students, I pull names on popsicle sticks that are housed in a plastic jar. This prevents me from sub-consciously choosing the same students repeatedly or calling on too many girls versus boys and vice versa.

The Challenge

10 minutes

Once a student has successfully filled a hexagon four different ways, I challenge them to do it again using hexagons printed on paper. For some reason, it's more difficult for kindergartners to fill in flat printed hexagons than the attribute block itself. It's important for them to be able to do both. The need to be able to transfer what they have learned with manipulatives to a paper pencil task.

This prepares them for test-taking in the future. Those foundational skills must be taught in kindergarten to support what will be expected of them as they progress through school.


5 minutes

We gather back on the floor and share our findings and our favorite hexagons fill-ins. I choose a few kids to come up and use the blocks to demonstrate how they filled a hexagon.

The kids get excited about sharing how they were able to fill in the hexagons. My struggling students get the most out of this time because it sparks ideas in them they didn't get on their own.

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

Instead of using a tangible exit ticket for this assignment, I use an Observation Notes page to jot down what I notice about the kids performances during this activity.

I use this information to separate them into two groups: Meets and Needs. My Meets group is made up of the students who satisfactorily complete the task of filling the hexagon. My Needs pile is made up the students who still additional instruction or a small group experience.