3D Shape Hunt

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SWBAT locate 3D shapes in the "real world" of the school (or classroom) environment.

Big Idea

Students enjoy getting to walk around the school looking for "real world" examples of the 3D shapes we are learning.

Attention Grabber/Introduction

10 minutes

Our new favorite song is Harry Kindergarten’s 3D Shapes. I play it for the class twice, with the kiddos singing along. It’s actually one of those tunes that gets stuck in your head! After the second time we sing, a good number of students actually ask to hear the song again, but I assure them that we will hear it again tomorrow.

We go over our new math vocabulary, 3D shape names, and I announce that we will be searching for 3D shapes all over the school that day! I demonstrate how we will use our white boards as our flat surfaces so we can take notes and use our tally marks to keep track of the shapes we find.

We practice writing on our “imaginary white boards in the sky,” “One-two-three-four… Slide down-across five!” I model in front of them, (actually backwards, so it looks right to them), and we all go over tally marks together (MP.6). Everyone is participating, and we are all actively reviewing.

Guided Practice

5 minutes

I challenge the students to help me find an object in class that’s shaped like a 3D object, and the kids find our soccer ball from the recess bin near the door. I ask for hands of students who can name the 3D shape, and I ask a student to name  the shape.

After the student correctly says, “Sphere,” I direct our attention to the recording sheet, projected on “the big screen.”

Our helper of the day demonstrates how to make a tally mark by sphere, and I ask a few more clarifying questions, like “What would we do if it was a cylinder?” which students answer for me.

We distribute white boards (for writing surfaces), 3D Shape Hunt tally sheets, and pencils. I tell students that before we walk together around the school, hunting for shapes to tally, we need to remember that other classes will be working in their rooms, so we must be very quiet as we walk around the school on our 3D shape hunt.

Independent Practice

20 minutes

No sooner do we line up, enter the hallway to begin our hunt, and walk a few feet, when a school-wide Lock Down drill is sounded. Oh boy, we quietly walk back to class, and… continue the 3D shape hunt in class!

For the record, I take roll to make certain we were all in class, I lock the door, and then we continue our 3D Shape Hunt. Technically, we may have been required to sit on the floor, but we are on a mission to find 3D shapes! We followed the rules and got back to class, but we had math to do! The kiddos are busy and productive as they hunt away for 3D shapes.

I make my way around the room, checking with students and encouraging them to name the 3D shapes (MP.6) and answer questions that get students describing qualities of specific 3D shapes. They don't mind my questions, but they are definitely hunting for shapes, so I am careful not to slow any student down with too many consecutive questions.


10 minutes

At the end of our “hunting time,” we sit down and talk about the 3D shapes we found the most and least often. Students compare examples of each type of 3D shape (MP.7), and I basically sit back and moderate the student discussion. Sure, I call on students who are raising their hands, but the discussion is entirely student-led. Students have been very engaged, active, and have gotten some great practice with 3D shapes!