Kitten Castle: Exploring Three-Dimensional Shapes and Rolling, Stacking and Sliding

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Students will be able to name and describe the attributes of three-dimensional shapes.

Big Idea

Kitten Castle is a fun story about a little girl who uses her knowledge of her kitten's preference to create a home for each one. This story can help students see how knowing the attributes of three-dimensional figures can be applied in a real situation.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start the lesson with a problem of the day to help students review skills and concepts from prior lessons and develop their ability to problem solve.  I call the students up to the carpet. The students find their spots while saying this chant with me.

Criss cross, applesauce, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher, you've got to show me that.

Projecting the Problem of the Day on the SMART Board, I say to students, "This is our Problem of the Day for today.  This says 'What shape is this object?  Does it stack?  Does it roll?  Does it slide?  Use blocks to justify your answer.' 

This problem has several parts.  What does it want us to do first?"  Name the shape.  "What is the shape?" A cube  "What does it want us to do next?"  Tell if it stacks.  "We also need to justify our answer by showing it with blocks." 

I call up students to tell if the cube can stack and show how they know.  We repeat this with roll and slide.

I tell students, "Today we are going to read a story to learn more about three-dimensional shapes."

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

I show students the Kitten Castle by Mel Friedman, "This story is about a little girl who is trying to convince her dad to let her keep some kittens.  She designs a home for each one using what she know about what they like.  When we read, think about what the kittens like and what kind of house you would make for them." 

As I read the story, I stop to discuss the kittens' preferences, and what kind of home should be made for them.  The kittens' preferences in the book include - "likes things that roll" or "likes curved places" - so the students need to use their knowledge of the attributes of three-dimensional shapes to design the kitten's houses. I explain this strategic use of open ended questioning about the attributes in my video.

I tell students that we will continuing to practice on a Roll, Slide and Stack worksheet. "You are going to be doing this paper on your own, but we are going to go over the directions together.  You need to get out a pencil and put your name on your paper.  When your name is on your paper hold your pencil in the air, that will let me know that you are ready to start."  

I like to have students hold up their pencils or put their hands on their heads when they are finished with a task.  It makes it easy for me to see who is ready and also keeps the students from writing all over their papers while they wait for other students to finish.  

Students take their practice sheets back to their seats. While the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet. When all students have their pencils up, we begin.

"The directions on this paper say, ' Draw a line from the word roll to the three-dimensional shapes that roll.  Draw a line from the word slide to the three-dimensional shapes that slide.  Draw a line from the word stack to the three-dimensional shapes that stack' 

Wow!  That sounds like a lot!  I will model the first one for you.  The first picture shows a soccer ball rolling and says roll.  We need to draw a line from the soccer ball to the shapes that roll.  Does a sphere roll?"  (After some think time, I solicit a response - yes.)  I draw a line to the sphere.  "Does a cone roll?"  Yes.   I draw a line to the cone.  "Does a cube roll?"  No  "Does a cylinder roll?"  Yes  I draw a line to the cylinder.  "The next picture is a traffic cone sliding.  Draw a line from the traffic cone to the shapes that slide."  I give students a few minutes to do that.  "The last picture is of blocks that are stacked.  Draw a line from the blocks to the shapes that stack.  When you are finished you may put your paper in the tray and get your center." 

I circulate and help students who are having trouble drawing a line to the correct shapes.  I also ask the students to name the shapes as I come to their tables.  When the students are finished, they put their paper in the basket and get their center.


20 minutes

The centers for this week are:


I quickly circulate to make sure students are engaged and do not have any questions about how to complete the centers.   I pull three groups during centers and work with them depending on the time they need (5 - 10 minutes).

The first group is comprised of the students who were having trouble identifying numbers and matching the numbers to objects.  Even though we are working on shapes, I start with identifying and matching numbers to objects for this group since they need to master this skill.  I have a basic idea of who I want in each group based on recent assessments, but I also take into account how the students did in the whole group lesson.  I pull the students back to my small group table to do a reteach activity using flash cards and manipulatives (for this lesson I used people counters).  I show the flash cards and have students practice identifying the numbers.  I then give each student a pile of counters (1-10) and have them pick the number card that matches their group.  After this, I move to wooden 3-dimensional shapes.  I hold up the cube and say "cube."  I pass the cube around the table and have each student say cube as they hold it.  I repeat this with each shape.  I hand each student a shape.  I call out a word (roll, stack or slide).  The students put their shape down if it applies to that group. 

The next two groups of students only do the activity with 3 dimensional shapes, and so it takes less time. Prior to clean up, I check in with each table to see how the centers are going.  I turn on Tidy Up by Dr. Jean.  Students clean up and return to their seats. This is a paid resource, but there are many free examples of transition songs easily found in a web search.


5 minutes

To close, three students come up to model rolling, sliding and stacking with the three-dimensional objects.  I mention positive things noticed during centers as well as something that needs to be better next time. 

I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we learned that some three-dimensional shapes can roll, slide and stack.  Tomorrow, we are going to compare two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes!"