Hummingbird Educational Resources

Lotsa Lesson Plans - SHAPES

Updated 05/2009

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Combine shape knowledge with scissor skills. Provide child with template of shape your class is studying. Child traces and cuts out several construction paper shapes. Let the child glue all her shapes on a long strip of construction paper to make a shape crown.

Submitted by Melody
The best time to do this activity is after their special classes (Art, Gym, etc)
 Hide different sizes of a particular shape all around your classroom (circle, square, rectangle, oval, star)
 Before your students enter the room, be waiting for them at the door.
 Explain to the students that they are going on a shape hunt.  Tell them that you have hidden (circles) all around the room and your job is to try and find no more than 5 circles.  Remind them that there will be small size circles, medium size circles, and big size circles. 
 Once the student has found the circles, they are to come to the carpet. 
 Once they are at the carpet, I will ask the students to bring all their small circles and put it into a pile and continue on with the medium and large.  After all circles have been put into piles, then we will count each pile.  The teacher will write the number on the board.  We then can figure out which has most and fewest. 

Singin' About Shapes
Prior to teaching little ones this song, cut several shapes from different colors of construction paper.  Laminate the shapes, if desired.  Then, during circle time, hold up one shape at a time as the children join you in singing this song to the tune of "Skip to my Lou".  Hold up a new shape each time our reach the last line of the song.

(Red, red circle), I see you.
(Red, red circle), I see you.
(Red, red circle), I see you.
(Green square), I see you, too!

Shapely Collages
Cut large versions of circles, triangles and squares from black construction paper.  Then pre-cut various smaller sizes of the corresponding shapes from colorful construction paper.  (A die-cutter will be helpful for this task).  Mix up all the precut shapes and place them in the middle of the table.  Invite each child to choose a black shape, then select matching colored shapes to glue onto his larger version.  Display these attractive collages on a bulletin board with the title  "Getting Into Shapes".

Floating Foam Shapes
Purchase several sheets of colorful craft foam from your local craft store. Cut various shapes from the foam and float these shapes in your water table.  Alternately, cut the shapes from Styrofoam trays.  Also provide containers in various shapes, such as square berry baskets or round nesting cups.  Ask the children to sort the foam shapes into the corresponding shaped containers.

Shape Rubbings
To prepare for this activity, cut sheets of sandpaper into basic shapes, peel the paper off a supply of crayons, and gather a few clipboards..  Working with two or three children at a time, have each child choose a sandpaper shape.  Use a piece of rolled masking tape to secure each child's shape to a clipboard.  Then clip a sheet of white copy paper over the shape.  Demonstrate how to rub the length of the crayon across the paper to make the shape "magically" appear.  Continue with different crayon colors and shapes on the same or different paper.

 To reinforce shape recognition, play a game of Copycat with a youngster at your sand table. Make sure that the sand is damp; then use an unsharpened pencil to draw a geometric shape in the sand. Provide the child with a pencil and encourage him to copy the shape in the sand. As a challenge, have the child carefully observe you as you draw a shape; then wipe the shape away. Encourage him to draw the same shape in the sand.

In preparation for the game, tape cutouts of basic shapes around your classroom. Put some on the walls, some on the doors, and some on the floor, and even some on the ceiling. Then darken the room somewhat and give a flashlight to a child. Have him shine the light on a shape and identify the shape. Then have him shine the flashlight beam on shapes that match the one
he originally identified. After a while, have the student pass the flashlight to another student, and repeat the process until each child has had a turn. Vary the routine, if desired, by calling out the names of shapes one after another as the student holding the flashlight illuminates a shape to match each one you named.

Circle Shape Puppet
1 large construction paper circle and 4 small circles, 2 6-in. strips of paper and 2 4-in. strips, markers, popsicle stick, glue, pair of scissors. Fold strips like an accordian and glue on for arms and legs. Glue on small
circles for arms and feet, draw on a face and glue on a stick for a handle. (Try triangles, hearts and squares)
Circle Puppet, circle puppet, jump up high.
Circle Puppet, circle puppet, fly, fly, fly.          .....bend down low, there you go./.....twirl around.
touch the ground.....hop, hop, hop, now you stop.

Red Square Red Square What do you see?
Submitted by Verlona
Red square sees a green circle looking at me
green circle sees a orange triangle
orange triangle sees a blue rectangle
blue rectangle sees a purple heart
purple heart sees a yellow star
yellow star sees a black diamond
black diamond sees _______ looking at me ( you add the child's name)

It is a great way for the children to work on shapes at home. Plus it is a great parent pleaser!!

Submitted by Sandra
Set shape recognition to music with this adaptation of musical chairs. Have youngsters sit on the floor in a circle. To begin the game, have one youngster, the "walker," walk around the circle to a musical recording. Then stop the music, signaling the youngster to stop behind a classmate. That classmate then stands up and walks behind the first walker with his hands on his shoulders. Play continues in this manner with an additional student joining the walkers each time the music stops. Continue until one youngster is left seated. To reinforce shape recognition, seat the youngsters in a triangular, rectangular, or other configuration for the next round.

Submitted by Mel
Have the children sit in a circle.  Give a ball of yarn to one child.  Have the child hold the end of the string and roll the ball to another child. Have that child hold the yarn and pass it to a third.  The third child then rolls it back to the original starting child.  Have the children guess what shape it is.  I use this for a opening activity to introduce my shape theme.
Flannel Board Shapes (Peek-A-Boo Shapes)
Cut shapes out of felt and put them on a flannel board. Point to each one and have all the children call out its name.Take the shapes off the board and tuck them under your leg. Have the children cover thie eyes. Put one shape on the board and say, " peek-a-boo, a shape for you". Let the children uncover their eyes while you're pointing at the shape. You and the children call out what it is. You repeat the name of the shape while tracing around the edge of it with your finger. Everyone clap. Repeat with the other shapes.

Songs and Fingerplays
(Jingle Bells)
Triangles, triangles,
Have three sides.
Triangles, triangles,
Have three sides.
You can draw big triangles
In the air,
It is fun to use your hands
And make them anywhere.
Triangle Tracks...
On the floor, make several triangles with masking tape in the block area.
Tell the children it is a race track and they must keep their cars and
trucks inside the lines.  I use this for the block area.
One Blue Square...
(Three Blind Mice)
One blue square, one blue square,
See how it's shaped, see how it's shaped.
Four big corners it does have,
Four big corners it does have.
One blue square, one blue square.
Square Song...
(Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song)
S - Q - U -
A - R - E,
All squares have four sides.
Shaped like blocks,
Or a slice of bread,
All four sides are the same.
One, two, three, four (spoken);
S - Q - U -
A - R - E,
Squares are e - a - sy.
Make A Shape...
(The Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we make a square,
Make a square, make a square,
This is the way we make a square,
So early in the mourning.
The Rolling Circle Song...
(Have You Ever Seen A Lassie?)
Have you ever seen a circle, a circle, a circle?
Have you ever seen a circle, which goes 'round and 'round?
It rolls this way and that way,
And this way and that way.
Have you ever seen a circle, which goes 'round and 'round?

Red Shapes Hokey Pokey...
(Hokey Pokey)
Put a red (name of shape) in,
 Put a red (name of shape) in,
Put a red (name of shape) in,
And shake it all about.
Do the hokey pokey
And turn yourself around-
Shapes What About You...
I am a circle;
Here's what I can do.
I can roll around.
How about you?
I am a square
So perfectly true.
I am the same length on four sides.
How about you?
I am a rectangle
With four sides too!
But I can be short or tall.
What about you?
I am a triangle
With only three sides.
But I can stand on any one.
How about you?
It's A Rectangle...
There is a shape that has four sides,
But it is not a square...No!
It's a rectangle;
It's a rectangle;
It's a rectangle;
It is not like a square...No!
Two sides are long; two sides are short.
They are not the same...No!
It's a rectangle;
It's a rectangle;
It's a rectangle;
The sides are not the same...No!
(Hold up a square when mentioned and then hold up rectangle.)

Submitted by Lisa
Shape Snacks
Circle Day - sliced bananas, grapes, scoop of ice cream, Ritz crackers, muffins, cookies, sandwich made on round bread.
Triangle Day - triangular chips, cheese slices cut into triangles, triangular crackers, ice cream cones, sandwich cut into triangles
Square Day - cheese cubes, crackers, rice krispie squares, sandwiches cut into squares,
Rectangle Day - celery sticks, carrot sticks, rectangular crackers, granola bars, sandwich cut into strips. Apple Sailboat Snack
The children make apple sailboats from an apple slice, a triangular piece of  cheese, and a toothpick. Eat for snack.

1. Put shape blocks (or attribute blocks) in a bag. Child puts hand in the bag and picks a shape. The child attempts to identify the shape without looking at it. Have them justify the guess before removing the shape from the bag.
2. Put shapes in bag. Instruct child to find a ________ without looking.
Again have them tell why they think the shape they have is the correct one.
3. Give each child a shape -- shapes could be clothes pinned to the child or on a piece of yarn (or put a shape on each table). Give instructions related to the shape -- circles stand up, triangles hop, rectangles crawl under the table and the favorite -- squares get ON the table. etc.!
4. Hide a shape in your hand, give clues (one at a time) and have the children guess/tell what the shape is/could be. (ex. the shape has straight sides, there are 4 sides, 2 or short and 2 or long).
5. Use shapes to make patterns on paper or in pocket charts. Children practice the names of the shapes by reading the pattern (circle, triangle, circle, triangle).
6. Put toothpicks on the table and instruct them to make various shapes (ask them to make a circle and see how many actually try!)
Shape books
Secret Birthday Message/Carle
Tana Hoban's books - photography
Ed Emberley's books - drawing techniques
Shape Walking
Cut out different shapes--circles, triangles, rectangles and squares--from foam about 3/4 inch thick. (This can be obtained from an upholstery shop.) Place them on the floor and have the kids "cross the river" only walking on triangles or squares or another specified shape. Cut from foam they can walk on them without ruining them--they should last for several years. Add to your set each year
Fine Motor Help
Cut out assorted shapes in sandpaper, about 4" down to 2" big. The kids place them under large white or manila construction paper and rub with the sides of crayons (without the paper). By overlapping the sandpaper shapes, and changing crayon colors, the kids can make beautiful shape collages.
What is a circle? What is round?
A quarter rolling on the ground.
A wheel is a circle, so is the moon,
A bottle cap, or a big balloon.
What is a square, with sides the same?
The wooden board for a checker game.
A slice of cheese, a TV screen,
A table napkin to keep you clean.
What is a rectangle, straight and tall?
The door that stands within your wall.
A dollar bill, a loaf of bread,
The mattress lying on your bed.
What is a triangle, with sides of three?
A piece of pie for you and me.
A musical triangle, ding, ding, ding,
A slice of pizza with everything!
These are the shapes seen everywhere:
A triangle, rectangle, circle, square.
If you look closely where you've been,
You'll surely see the shapes you're in!
Have them go on a shape hunt to search for daycare items that have their
assigned shape. Later, let each group display the items they found.
Play a variation on Concentration by preparing eight or more index cards, each bearing a circle, square, rectangle, or triangle (each card should have a match). Lay the cards face down. Players take turns turning two cards over in an attempt to make a match. A player keeps the cards if they are the same shape and the player can correctly name it.
Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza: A Book of Shapes by Marjorie Eberts
and Margaret Gisler, Children's Press
Shapes and Colors by Denise Lewis Patrick, Western
Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban, Greenwillow

Learning shapes through the year
(from Clare Cherry's book, Creative Art for the Developing Child).
Sept.- Use art/easel paper cut into circles - explore round things (this could tie into an apples unit)
October- Use rectangular paper - help children find the corners Then return to round at the end of the month for pumpkin shapes
November - introduce pennant-shaped paper - help the children discover that pennants have points. Paint leaf shapes with many points. Towards the end of the month, return to circles for fruit shapes
December- Provide triangular shaped paper for Christmas Trees.
January - Use square shapes. Show the children that the sides are the same length on each side. Fold the squares into a cone and make snowflakes.
February - Continue with folding activities - make hearts
March - Diamond shapes, kites use this shape again in May for Japanese kite holiday.
April - Oval shapes - Paint giant eggs for Easter on egg shaped easel paper.
May - Scalloped circular shapes inspire children to make flowers.
June- Make long murals using crayons, chalk or collage materials.
July- use over-sized rectangles - make flags.
August - Have the children lay on butcher paper - trace the outline of their shapes. Let the children paint their paper shapes.
Shape Collage
Construction Paper &Magazines
Draw large shapes on construction paper. Have the children fill in the shapes using pictures cut from magazines Fill a circle with circular shapes etc.

Title: Shape Games
Submitted by Jean
First of all, you cut shapes out of cardboard or posterboard and punch a hole in the center of the shape.  Then string a long piece of yarn ( 10'-15' ) though the hole of each shape and tie the yarn ends together.  The children sit in a circle holding onto the yarn and you push the shapes to the next child as you all sing this song (to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel"):
Round and round the (triangle) goes
Pass it to your neighbor,
Where it stops nobody knows.
Where's the (triangle)?
When you say "STOP" the children hold the shape they have in their hand and when you sing the next line, the children identify who has the (triangle).  I plan on putting many shapes on the same yarn and singing about a different shape each time.

Title: Shape Monster Book
Submitted by Bobbi
On the cover;  Shape Monster
Pages: Shape Monster, Shape Monster
Munch.munch, munch
How about a (color and shape)  for your lunch?
last page: Shape monster, shape monster
munch, munch, munch
(Have all the shapes on this page with the monster licking his mouth)I used a Pacman type monster for this. At the end of the year, one of the girls made a Letter monster book for us to use with the same format. Both books have become favorites of my class this year already.

Submitted by Marilyn
I took a large piece of white oaktag and cut out a large circle.  Then I divided that into four quarters.  I put a different shape in each quarter.  (green rectangle, red square, yellow circle and blue triangle.  Then I drew matching shapes on pinch clothespins.  I put the clothespins in a large box in a box and I have the children reach into the box, select a clothespin and then put it onto the oaktag circle.  It is great for one-to-one correspondence, color recognition and shape recognition.  I sing:

________ has found a shape,
_______ has found a shape,
Hi Ho, the Derrio, ____has found a shape.
_______has made a match,
________has made a match,
Hi Ho, the Derrio, _____has made a match!!

Submitted by: Carol
Red heart, red heart what do you see?
I see a yellow triangle looking at me.
You add whatever shapes you want and make them what ever color you want.  The children love this activity.  Last year every child did one page and we put it together in book form and then added it to our library.  The children not only knew their colors, but also their shapes. I had kids doing hexagon pentagon, octagon etc... (and they were K's)!

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