Are you looking for fun and creative ways to teach shapes? These 2D and 3D shapes activities will send your engagement factor soaring as your students learn, sing, and write about 2D and 3D shapes and their attributes.
Shapes and geometry… two of my favorite math units to teach. There are so many creative ways to teach about shapes, and let’s face it, it’s a whole lot more FUN than teaching primary students to decompose, regroup, and subtract across zeros! Read on for lesson ideas and see how I sent my kids over the top by changing the words to a viral video, What Does the Fox Say?.
Get students up and moving
Get your students up, moving and dancing to What Does the Fox Say? But change the words to What does the SHAPE say! to the delight of my class I used this video to introduce our unit.
You can find a kid-friendly Just Dance version on YouTube.
Use an Anchor Chart as a Game Board
Create an interactive What Does the SHAPE Say? anchor chart that serves as a lesson visual AND a game board. You can easily adapt it to teach plan or solid shapes and their attributes.
We use the chart parts to also play a whole group version of I Have, Who Has for students to identify shapes and their attributes.
As students match the shape words to the speech bubbles describing the attributes they place them on the class chart.
I don’t laminate the chart and use removeable glue sticks to turn each piece into a reusable sticky note. I make extras of the chart parts for small group games and math centers.
Include Fun Read Alouds
The Perfect Square by Michael Hall is one of my favorite read alouds to use. All of his books are creative gems with surprises on each page. The Greedy Triangle is an oldie but goodie and a fun book to use to add a STEM element to your unit. We use this one on Family Math Night and have students to build structures with toothpicks and marshmallows.
Practice ELA Skills Using Math Content
Depending on your grade level you can easily differentiate by choosing the vocabulary, length, and complexity of your students’ writing.
Get Students Writing About Math
Take writing about math a step further and make a fox shape craft. Display a sentence frame and model for students how to write dialogue that speaks for the shape. Older students can generate the dialogue themselves.
The shape crafts make colorful math bulletin boards that are a fun way to show what your students are learning.
Animate Your Writing Using ChatterPix
Use the Chatter PIX app to give a voice to your learning! It’s so simple to use and literally takes seconds to complete.
All it takes is a little talking mouth to send the engagement factor SOARING!
Turn Your Talking Shapes Into a Class Math Movie
After animating everyone’s shape crafts we turned them into our very own math movie!
To make the movie I saved each student’s work from Chatter PIX in Dropbox then uploaded them into iMovie. You can then add a title and select from their music library or even add your own song. We used the karaoke version of What Does the Fox Say? that I purchased on iTunes.
Munch On Shapes During Math Class
Check the dollar store first when looking for crackers. They almost always have all the shapes you’ll need.
The year before we did a variation on our fox crafts by quoting quadrilaterals. Literally no prep, students draw a quadrilateral on construction paper, cut it out, and add wiggly eyes. They then use quotation marks to quote the quadrilateral!
These 2D and 3D shapes activities have been a huge hit in my classroom. I love that they are interactive, easy to differentiate, incorporate writing and ELA skills, and are just plain fun. Click here for the What Does the Shape Say? math resource.
I hope you’ve found ideas you can use in your classroom! Be sure to pin this for later so you have it when you plan!
Visit these posts for more math ideas:
Our shapes unit was such a hit I made a similar one for teaching time to the hour/half hour, quarter hour and nearest 5 minutes. CLICK HERE for fun ways to teach time.