Scavenger Hunt for 3D Shapes

6 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT identify 3D shapes within the classroom; SWBAT justify their thinking using their knowledge of composite plane shapes.

Big Idea

We have identified plane shapes in our classroom, learned shape attributes and vocabulary, and built 3D shapes from 2D plane shapes. I'm driving this unit home by having my students identify real-life 3D objects in our classroom.

Rev Them Up

5 minutes

I will draw the 3D shapes on the chalkboard and list their names in a column next to them. The names will not be lined up with the shapes so that they can help me match them up. I will call on different students to help me decide which shape matches each name. I will make sure that students are able to explain how they know what each 3D shape is by naming the composite plane shapes that they explored in yesterday's lesson.

For example, when a student identifies a shape as a rectangular prism, he or she will also need to explain how he or she knows it's a rectangular prism because its six faces are all made up of rectangles.

Whole Group Interaction

10 minutes

I want my students to help me sort our solid figures and decide:

  • solid or flat
  • flat, curved, or both
  • slide, roll or both

I want them to help me group the figures based on these attributes. They will be doing a lot of talking with me and have to attend to be precise in determining what category each shape falls under. This is an important math practice to achieve to be able to communicate mathematical ideas effectively and using correct vocabulary. (MP6). This lesson offers them new vocabulary to describe shapes and their capabilities. They will be sorting the shapes and deciding which category accurately describes it. Is a shape solid? Is it flat or does it have a curve? Can it roll, slide or do both? Watch the video and check our the pic of our discussion in the resource section.

Independent Practice

10 minutes

Need: Go here to print a copy of the scavenger hunt form and copy for each student.

I will have a discussion with my students about objects in our classroom that can be identified as a sphere, cylinder, rectangular prism, cube, pyramid, or cone. If we do not have something in the room to represent one of the shapes, then I will ask for an idea that is outside our school.  The main goal is to achieve mastery of Common Core Standard 1.G.A.2 and be able to create composite shapes. Identifying real-life solid figures will help in future grade standards when students need to expand their definitions of shapes and develop understandings of larger categories of shapes. After our discussion, I will allow them to begin walking around the room to look for items that match their scavenger hunt. It will be very important to walk around and ask them what they are selecting and why they know it represents a 3D shape (I will be looking for students to base their thinking on the different defining attributes and composite plane shapes that make up the 3D objects' faces).

In the past, I have noticed that some will get confused as to whether they can select something that is just a plane shape rectangle on the bulletin board or do they need to pick the Kleenex box to represent the rectangular prism. Be on the look out for this kind of confusion.

Watch part I and Part II of our hunt. My student's completed work shows what he was able to find in the room.


5 minutes

I will have my students turn to their neighbor and tell them 3 shapes they found on their scavenger hunt.