Combining Shapes

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Students will be able to combine shapes to make larger shapes.

Big Idea

We can make so many things out of shapes! In this lesson students will use pattern blocks to explore combining shapes to make new shape.

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.

I project the Problem of the Day on the SMART Board and say to students, "This is our Problem of the Day for today.  This says 'Name each figure.  After the teacher makes changes, name each figure again.  Did the figures change shape?" 

"This Problem of the Day has several parts.  What do we need to do first?"  (Name each shape.) 

"Name the shapes."  (A rectangle, a triangle and a square.) 

"The next part is something I need to do!"  I rotate each shape 90 degrees. (On the SMART Board to do this you need to click on the shape.  Then hold down on the green dot while rotating.) 

"What do we need to do next?"  (Name each shape again.)  

"Name each shape."  (A rectangle, a triangle, and a circle.)  This answer may not be clear.  Some students may think the shapes are different.  I have students explain their thinking and go back to our definition of each shape.  I say. "The last part of the problem asks 'Did the figures change shape?'  What do you think?"  I have one or more students give their thoughts.

I tell students, "Today we are going to continue learning about shapes.  We are put shapes togehter to make larger shapes!"

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

I start this lesson by having the students sit in a circle on the carpet.  I give each students a baggie containing the following pattern blocks: 1 hexagon, 2 trapezoids, 3 rhombuses, and 6 triangles.  I have the same pattern blocks for myself in a larger form.  I have the students pull out the hexagon.  I tell the students that we are going to use the hexagon as the work mat. 

We are going to put other shapes together to make a hexagon.  I ask the student to do this with their trapezoids.  While they are working, I model it with my larger pattern blocks.  If a student is still struggling, I assist or ask another student to help.  I continue this with the rhombuses and triangles.  I then say, "I would like you to find another way to make a hexagon using some of the pattern blocks I have given you."  If a student figures out one way right away or I see them copy off of their neighbor, I ask the student to find another way.  I continue this until all of the students have figured out at least one way.

I tell students that we will continuing to practice this at their seats.  On the student tables, I have a container of square and triangle pattern blocks.  I also have a Combining Shapes worksheet to distribute.  I show students the paper and say, "You will be working on this paper on your own.  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.  I hand each student a paper for them to take back to their seats and while the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet on the SMART Board.  When all students have their pencils up, I say, "All that you see on this paper are four large shapes.  What shapes do you see?"  A triangle, a square, a a square on its side and a rectangle.  "You are going to use the pattern blocks on your table to create each shape.  When you are finished, please put your hand up.  I would like to check your work before you do your center today."  I circulate and assist students who are having trouble combining the shapes.  When students finish, and I check their work, they put their pattern blocks back in the container, their paper in their mailbox and get their center.


20 minutes

This week's centers 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.  I start with a group of students who were unable to complete today's activity.  I start them off with the hexagon activity again and then move on to creating a larger square and triangle.  I dismiss students who know their numbers and keep the students who are having trouble identifying numbers and matching the numbers to objects.  I do a quick reteach activity using flash cards and manipulatives (for this lesson I used the triangle pattern blocks that I had at the table).  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.  The next two groups of students do just an activity with combining shapes.  I have them make a hexagon without using the hexagon pattern block as a template and make a triangle and square without a template.  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.


5 minutes

I close the lesson by having a student create a hexagon, triangle and square without a template, showing the work on the SMART Board/document camera.  A critical aspect of the close is explaining the thinking. With kindergarten students I am developing their thinking and the language used to express that thinking, simultaneously. So, I have the student explain what shapes are being used to make each of the larger shapes. 

I mention positive things that I noticed during centers.  I also include something that needs to be better next time.  I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we learned that we can combine shapes to make larger shapes.  Tomorrow, we are going to learn about new shape and counting centers!"