Putting it Together: Working with Plane Shapes

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Students will be able to create objects by using plane shapes.

Big Idea

Students are learning that plane shapes are everywhere in our world. The students will have the opportunity to manipulate shapes to create their own pictures.


10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson you will need the I Can Make Shapes Book included as a PDF with this lesson.  I print the book on a colored printer and laminate the pages for durability.  I then bind the book using a comb binder. 

I gather the students around my big chair.  I tell them, I have a book to read for you.  It's called, I Can Make Shapes.  What shapes do you think we might see in this book? I wait for the students to my students to name some shapes they think they might read about in the story.  Let's read and find out if those shapes are in our story.

Page 1:  I can make lots of shapes.

Page 2:  I have them tell me the name of each shape before I read the text.  I can make a square.

Page 3-6:  Continue as above. 

Page 7:  I can make a house!

So boys and girls, this little boy used all of these shapes of these shapes to make a house!  Do you think that you can use shapes to make things that we find in our world?  Let's move over to the SMARTBoard and give it a try!

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, the file Making Pictures with Shapes 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 create a picture using shapes.

Language Objective
I can tell a friend what shapes I can use to make a picture.

Slide 2:  I can use shapes to make pictures.

Slide 3:  Can you use these shapes to make a house?  I invite a student to come up to the Smartboard and move the shapes to make a house.    We discuss how most things we see around us are made of common shapes. 

Slide 4-7:  Continue as above

Slide 8:   It is now Turn and Talk Time.  Turn and Talk is incorporated into my instruction to allow amy students to practice their academic language.  It is valuable for all my students, especially those learning English.  The students have assigned Turn and Talk partners.  I ask them to hold hands with their partners and hold their hands in the air so I know that everyone has a partner.  I then ask them, What shapes could you use to make a picture of an ice cream cone.  I give them time to talk to their partner and when it is obvious that they have completed their discussion, I call on a student to share their discussion with the class. The student shares you could use a triangle and a circle.  I invite a student to come up and erase inside the box. I repeat the answer in a complete sentence saying, I could use a triangle and a rectangle to make a house. 

We then move to our seats for guided practice.

Guided Practice

15 minutes

For this section of the lesson, you will need a variety of shapes for the students to manipulate.  I like to cut shapes from tag board.  I make sure to have a variety of shapes and sizes.  The shapes I cut are from 2 to 6 inches in size.  I have about 20 different shapes cut per group of 6 students.  I put them in a zipper storage bag so they can be used in subsequent years. The student activity page in the next section can be used as a template when you are creating these shapes.

Each table of students in my classroom is a group.  I put a bag of shapes on each table.  I tell the students, I put a bag of shapes on each of your tables.  When I tell you to begin, I want you to open the bag and use the shapes to create a picture.  Think about some of the pictures made today, or perhaps you can think of other pictures you can make.  When you have your picture created, raise your hand and I will come and check your work.

The students begin working.  See video.  I move around the room to check their work.  I ask them questions about the shapes they used to create their picture.  I also take my camera and take pictures of the students with their final creation.  When they are done, they put the shapes back in the zipper bag.  I collect the bags and we prepare for independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need a 9" x 12" piece of construction paper for each student.  You will also need copies of Pictures from Shapes Activity for each student, included with this lesson. 

I tell the students, You did such a great job creating pictures with your shapes, now it's time to do it on your own.  Each of you will get a set of shapes.  You are going to cut some of these shapes out and arrange them to make something.  When you have decided what you are going to do with the shapes, you can glue them down on the blue paper.  Go ahead and color the shapes and add details when you are done gluing the shapes down.

The students begin working and I circulate around the room to help them.  They are very motivated.  Some students are concerned about needing to use all of the shapes.  I explain to the students that you do not need to use all the shapes.  The students ask if they can take the extra shapes home to make some more pictures.  Great idea!!

When the students have completed their pictures, they show me their work.  I ask them to tell me what shapes they used in their picture so they can get some more important vocabulary practice.