Shape Detectives: Plane Shapes in Our World

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Students will be able to identify plane shapes in their world.

Big Idea

Shapes are everywhere!! This lesson will open your students' eyes to look for the shapes around them.


10 minutes

To introduce this lesson, I read the book Round is a Tortilla, A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and illustrated by John Parra. This book with Latino styling introduces students to the world of shapes around them.  I select this book because it will make important connections to our math concepts for my immigrant students. There is such a wealth of high quality picture books about shapes found in a variety of potentially high interest settings. I encourage you to consider what your students might be most interested in, or can best relate to, when selecting your literature for math.

In this story, children are discovering the world of shapes around them.  Many words like tortilla or ice cream cart are familiar to all of my students.  For words that are unfamiliar, there is a glossary in the back of the book.

I gather the students around my big chair and I to assist the students in making text to self connections, I ask if they have ever had a tortilla.  The students are excited because just about all of them are familiar with tortillas.  For those who are not, I invite another student to explain what a tortilla is.  I ask the students what shape a tortilla is.  They shout out, "a circle".  I say to them, That's right.  A tortilla is a circle.  When I think about it, there are shapes everywhere in my world.  I just need to look for them!  I am going to read you a story about finding shapes in our world.  It is called, Round is a Tortilla.  As we read it, we will learn some new words in Spanish.  I want you to think about all the shapes that are around us in our world. 

I begin reading the story.  We stop and discuss the meaning of unfamiliar words.  While reading the book, I review the shapes with the students by having them repeat the name of the shapes.

After we are done discussing the story, we move over to our SMARTBoard spots for direct instruction time. 

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, the file Plane Shapes in Our World 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 Smartboard.  I have cards with each student's name printed on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SmartBoard.

I open the first slide (SmartBoard 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 plane shapes in my world.

Language Objective
I can tell a friend what shapes I see in my world.

 We progress then progress through the rest of the slides. 

Slide 2: There are shapes everywhere in our world.  Let's try finding some.

Slide 3:  What shape is this? Find this shape in the picture and drag this shape over it.  I ask the class what shape is on the screen.  I then invite a student to come up and drag the shape to cover the object in the picture that is that shape.  To help reinforce English skills, I say, The magnifying is a circle

Slide 4-6:  Continue as above

Slide 7: What shapes do you see in this picture?  I invite students to come up and circle a shape that they see in the picture and identify the shape. 

Slide 8:  It is now Turn and Talk Time.  Turn and Talk allows the students the opportunity to practice their academic language.  This is a critical piece of instruction for my English Language Learners.   Each student has an assigned Turn and Talk partner.   I have them hold hands with their partner and raise their hands in the air so I can make sure that everyone has a partner.  After everyone has a partner, I say to them.  What shapes do you see in this picture?  The students begin to converse about the shapes that are in the picture.  When I can tell the conversations are coming to a close, I draw the students back together.  I ask them to share what shapes they saw in the picture.  I have the students phrase their responses as a complete sentence (e.g., The windows are rectangles).  After the students have identified the different shapes, we move to our seats for guided practice.  

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

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For the guided practice portion of the lesson, you will need the Identifying Plane Shapes in Our World Guided Practice cards.  I print four sets of the cards on a colored printer to use with table groups.  Print as many as you need for your classroom configuration.  I laminate the cards for durability.

I tell the students, I am going to be giving you pictures of things in our world.  I want you to work as a table and search for different shapes in the picture.  See how many different shapes you can find.  I will be walking around and watching you work.  After each picture, we will discuss what kinds of shapes you see.

I pass the first card out to the students.  I circulate around the room while the students are discussing what shapes they see. I encourage the students to speak in complete sentences (The windows are squares, etc.).  When the conversation is winding down, I bring the class back together and we discuss what shapes the group found.  Again, I reinforce the use of complete sentences to assist my English Language Learners in developing their English skills.

We repeat the process with the cards.  The students move through each card quickly.  When we have completed all four cards, I collect the final card and we prepare for independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the Find the Shapes activity sheet included as a PDF.  Make one copy per student. 

I distribute the activity sheet to the students and I have them write their name on the top of their paper.  I have them get their color crayons out.  I explain the directions for them.  We are going to be looking for shapes in the real world.  Let's look at the first picture on our activity sheet.  What is that picture of?  That's right, it is a boy pulling a wagon.  I see some shapes on the side.  I want you to take your red crayon and color one circle red (wait).  Now I want you to find a circle on the picture and color it in red too.  Now, we are going to switch colors.  I want you to color the other circle blue, then find a circle in the picture and color that circle blue too.  Now, take a green color crayon and color in the rectangle (wait).   Find a rectangle in the picture and color it green.  Now we found all of the shapes in the picture.  I want you to continue finding shapes in the pictures just like we did.  Color in a shape and then look for that same shape in the picture.  Pick a different color for each shape in one picture. 

The students begin working. See the video.  I circulate around the room to check their work.  As students complete the activity, I check their work before they put it in their mailboxes.