Are you looking for some fresh ideas for first grade shapes activities? These shapes activities will get students active, engaged, and having fun throughout your lessons!
First grade shapes activities
Shapes and geometry are two of my favorite concepts to teach, so I love finding new and creative ways to enhance my students’ learning experience. Whether it’s opportunities for movement, incorporation of arts and crafts, or adding in songs and videos, there’s always something new and exciting to include in my shapes and geometry lesson plans! Keep reading for some first grade shapes activities that you probably haven’t done before.
Use an interactive anchor chart
One of my very favorite first grade shapes activities is to make a What Does the Shape Say? anchor chart. Students can read clues to match shapes, attributes, and vocabulary and add these elements to the chart as a class.
I like to use removable glue sticks to turn each chart piece into a little reusable sticky note. That way I can take the chart apart and have students help put it back together as a review or as a game. I usually make extra copies of the chart parts to use in small groups and math centers, too.
Change up a song
I love finding ways to incorporate songs into my shapes lessons. Using songs really helps students remember concepts!! For my first grade shapes activities I like to play the song What Does the Fox Say? But instead of saying fox, we say shape. So it becomes What Does the Shape Say?
My students absolutely love changing up the words and singing in class. I like to get kids up and moving by playing the kid-friendly Just Dance version of the song on YouTube.
Make shape booklets
I love to use these shape booklets for students to describe the attributes of 2D or 3D shapes from the shape’s point of view. If you’re working on teaching first grade standard 1.GA.1, this is one of the first grade shapes activities that addresses that standard well.
This is a great way to incorporate ELA standards into math lessons as well. Students can practice using quotation marks while also practicing their writing skills! It really gives students the opportunity to practice writing about math by using math vocabulary, which is an extremely important skill for students to learn.
Get students writing about shapes
Speaking of incorporating ELA standards into math lessons, here’s another one of the first grade shapes activities that does just that! Create a fox shape craft and writing activity.
Display a sentence frame for students and model how to write dialogue that speaks for the shape. Students will tell about the shapes attributes by speaking from the shape’s perspective.
We even used the ChatterPix app to animate our foxes! Click here to watch our video on YouTube.
These colorful crafts also make an easy math bulletin board! I love that they show students’ learning in a fun and unique way.
Play Roam the Room with shapes
Allow students to get up and moving with a Roam the Room game. Have each student make a shape out of Play Doh and lay it on their desk. Then have students walk around the room with a clipboard and this FREE Shapes Around the Room page. Students will identify the shapes that their classmates made and write the name of each classmate under the Play Doh shape they made!
Munch on shapes with Munchie Math
Students always seem to have more fun when there’s food involved! For this activity, use a variety of shaped crackers and have students sort them by number of sides and vertices.
Use this FREE Munchie Math Printable for students to identify the name and attributes of each shape! The dollar store usually has a lot of options for shaped crackers.
Have students quote quadrilaterals
An awesome no-prep variation on the fox shape writing craft I usually do is a Quote the Quadrilateral craft.
Have students draw a quadrilateral on construction paper, cut it out, and add googly eyes. Then, students use quotation marks to speak from the quadrilateral’s perspective and tell about its attributes!
Play a shape matching game
I like to turn my shapes anchor chart parts into a little game for students. I pass out the parts to the chart—some have names of shapes and some have shape attributes. Students play a little version of I Have, Who Has to match each shape to its defining attributes.
This is a great activity for a whole group lesson on shape attributes!
Do a marshmallow tower challenge
Add an engineering challenge to your first grade shapes activities by having students create a marshmallow tower. Just provide students mini marshmallows and toothpicks. Students will create shapes using the materials. Then challenge them to see what shapes they can use to create a tower.
After the towers have been built, have students compare the different shapes they can find within other students’ towers! This is an awesome STEM challenge and a fun way to address composing 2D and 3D shapes (1.GA.2) in your lessons.
Play shape games online
There’s no doubt that fun online games are a fan favorite in my classroom! I try to find games online that can really reinforce geometry skills for my first grade shapes activities. There really are a lot of great, free options, too!
Students can play Dino Crunch on Education.com to practice with attributes of 2D and 3D shapes. With this game students are challenged to figure out which attributes go with which shapes, and then they have their dinosaur gobble up the correct shapes.
This Kangaroo Hop game is helpful for students to practice identifying 2D and 3D shapes. Students have to identify shapes and have their kangaroo hop to the correct shape. This game has the option for multiplayer, so students can play the same game together. That makes it a great shape activity to use for centers.
Incorporate fun shape read alouds
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The Greedy Triangle is about a triangle that is bored with his life and wants to add another angle to become a quadrilateral. But then he becomes greedy and wants to keep adding more and more angles to become all kinds of different shapes. It’s such a fun story that really incorporates the math vocabulary that first graders are learning!
Here’s a short list of books you can add to your shapes activities:
- The Greedy Triangle
- Perfect Square
- Super Heroes Colors, Shapes, and More
- Magic Shapes
- If I Were A Quadrilateral
- If I Were A Polygon
Watch fun shapes videos
Any kind of video tends to get my students’ focus and attention, so of course I love to use videos for my first grade shapes activities!
There are a few VERY catchy shapes songs that my students love. They end up singing the songs all day, which inevitably leads to me singing the songs when I go home each night! But it really works to help them remember important facts about shapes!! Definitely check out this 2D shapes song and this 3D shapes song to help first graders remember some of their shapes.
If your students are struggling to differentiate 2D and 3D shapes, this 5 minute video about 2D vs. 3D might help!
Make shape pizzas
Students will start to notice that there are shapes all around them with a fun pizza shape craft! Paint a paper plate red or cut large red circles from construction paper for the base of the pizza. Then have students cut shapes from different colored construction paper to make their toppings.
Long rectangles could represent cheese, small red circles could be pepperoni, green squares could represent green peppers, and orange triangles could be pieces of ham! After the pizzas are complete, have students share what toppings they put on their pizza.
Add in engineering
Add engineering into your first grade shapes activities by having students try to determine which shape holds the most weight. For this activity you’ll need books, scissors, tape, and sheets of paper. For the full activity with instructions, check out this video on YouTube.
You’ll use one sheet of paper to create a square column, one sheet of paper to create a triangular column, and one sheet of paper to create a circular column. Stand the columns up and stack books on top of each one. Stack one book at a time and see how many books each column can hold before it collapses!
After the activity, display and read this post from Science Made Fun, which helps explain the idea that triangles are the strongest shape!
Compose & decompose shapes
Composing two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes (1.GA.2) is a crucial standard to tackle in first grade. You can use pattern blocks in class to have students practice this skill, but did you know you can also have students practice with pattern blocks online?
Have students play this awesome online shapes game for composing and decomposing shapes. It’s a great way to utilize technology in the classroom, and it could be used for centers or possibly even early finishers.
I hope this post has inspired you to breathe new life into your first grade shapes activities! Be sure to pin this post and save it for when you plan!
Visit these posts for more math activities!