Exploring More Shapes in Our World: Rhombuses and Ovals

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Students will be able to identify characteristics of rhombuses and ovals and classify real world shapes as rhombuses and ovals.

Big Idea

Most kindergarten students have some knowledge of basic shapes. This lesson expands this knowledge by acquainting them with two shapes they may not be as familiar with.


10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need a set of card with the 6 basic Plane Shape Cards (square, circle, rectangle, diamond, oval and rhombus).  Every student will need a piece or string about 2 feet long.  I cut and keep the yarn from year to year. 

I distribute the yarn to the students and I say to the students,  We are going to review some of the shapes that we have already covered and we will also be learning about two new shapes.   We are going to use this string to practice creating some shapes.  I am going to say a shape and I want you to try to make that shape out of your string.   

I say the shape and have them try making it.  I then hold up the card with the shape to give visual support if needed and for the children to check their work. 

I finish by asking the students to make an oval and a rhombus.  The children know what an oval is, but they are perplexed by the request for a rhombus.  I hold up the picture, the students say....Oh! A diamond.

I collect the string and have the students take their seats at their Smartboard spots to begin our instruction.

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMART Board.  If you have a SMART Board, the file Oval and Rhombus can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.  

I gather my students in front of the SMART Board.  I have cards with each student's name printed on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SMART Board.

I open the first slide (SMART Board Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques  I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective:  I can identify the characteristics of ovals and rhombuses (diamonds) and determine if a shape is an oval or rhombus.

Language Objective: 
I can tell a friend whether a shape is an oval or a rhombus and why.

We progress then progress through the rest of the slides. 

Slide 2: This is an oval.

Slide 3:  An oval is like a circle, but the points around it are not all an equal distance to the center.  I point out how on some parts of the line I am far away from the center and on other parts I am very close. 

Slide 4: Let's sort some shapes!!  I invite students up to the SMART Board to slide shapes into the correct section.  I make sure that the students tell why the shape they moved goes where it goes.  This supports Common Core Standard for Mathematical Practice #3, (Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others).  I want the students to be able to support why they classified a shape.  

Slide 5: This is a rhombus.  We also call it a diamond.

Slide 6: With a rhombus, all four sides are equal.  One set of corners has small angles, the other has big angles. I hold my hands over each corner to show the students how my hands are far apart on two angles and closer together on the other two. 

Slide 7: Is this a rhombus?   Why or why not?  I explain to the students that two sides are short and two sides are longer.  A rhombus must have four equal sides.

Slide 8:  Let's sort some more shapes!!  Again, the students need to tell why they placed the shape where they did.  

Slide 9:  Let's sort again, but this time let's include both the rhombus and the oval. The students continue telling why they moved the shapes where they did.  

Slide 10:  It is now Turn and Talk Time.  My students love this opportunity to practice their academic vocabulary.  This is especially important for my English Language Learners.  I have the students hold hands in the air with their designated Turn and Talk partner.  I then ask them the question, What shapes do you see here?  How many?  How do you know?  The students start their conversation and I am impressed by what I hear.  I note that several students realize there are 5 rhombuses.  The students are also discussing if two of the boxes together make a rhombus, but I hear them say, that all four sides would not be equal.  After they are done with their conversation, I invite a student to come up to the board and share the discussion he had with his partner.  The students explains to the class that there are 5 rhombuses.  He tells the class how he knows they are rhombuses.  I do not interject into the conversation because the student did a great job explaining to the class.

The students take their seats at their tables to begin guided practice.   

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need the Oval and Rhombus Real World Shape SortI print the cards on a colored printer and laminate for durability.  I printed four sets of the cards, so there was one set for each table of students in my classroom. The cards should be cut apart.

I distribute each set of cards to the tables face down.  I pass the cards out around the table so each student gets at least two cards. I then place one set of the larger cards that are labeled rhombus and oval at each table.  I say to the students, we are going to sort some things that we find in our word as ovals and rhombuses.  You will go around the table and hold up just one of your shapes.  You will say what it is and what shape it is.  For example, if I have a picture of a kite, I would say, "The kite is a rhombusl".  Then place the shape next to the sign that has the circle on it and the next person goes.  I want everyone to say the sentence.  Don't just put your card down.  Keep going around the circle until all of the cards are laid down.

The students begin the activity.  I circulate around the room to make sure they are sorting the shapes correctly.  Because I want my English Language Learners to expand their vocabulary I make sure the students are saying the sentences that describes their shapes.  I assist students by naming objects they are not familiar with as well. 

I check the students sorted cards.  The students pick up the cards and we prepare for independent practice.  

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this section of the lesson, you will need student copies of the Oval and Rhombus Sorting Activity included in this lesson. 

I pass the activity sheets out to the students and have them put their names on the top of their papers.  I then explain to the students, We will be sorting some objects by shape.  You will be deciding if the shapes are circles or triangles.  I want you to cut apart the shapes and place them on the correct sections of the paper.  Do not glue until you have raised your hand for me to check our paper. 

The students begin there work as I move around the room, checking their work.  I make sure to check in with my English Language Learners and have them name the different objects that they are sorting.

I correct any mistakes that the students may have made.  After they have glues the objects down, I have them place the paper in their mailbox.