Math Background

Lesson: Identifying Shapes and Matching Parts
Developing the Concept

When children can identify two-dimensional shapes, they can apply their knowledge to learn about three-dimensional shapes.

Materials: boxes; empty cans; balloons that are spheres; cutout circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles (Learning Tools 20 and 21 in the Learning Tools Folder); tape; glue

Preparation: You may wish to ask parents to help you collect the three-dimensional containers.

Place the materials on a work table. Explain to children that you are going to make a puppet. Then choose one of the boxes.

  • Ask: How could I describe this shape?
    Identify it as a rectangular prism.
    Then glue or tape two circles for eyes.
  • Ask: What shape did I use for the eyes? (circle)
    Then attach a triangle for a nose.
  • Ask: What shape did I use for the nose? How do you know?
    Have children describe the characteristics of the triangle. Then hold up a rectangle.
  • Say: I want to use one half of this shape for the mouth. What can I do?
    Children may suggest folding the shape in two equal parts and cutting it apart. Identify each part as one half.

    After you complete the puppet face, have volunteers help you make other puppets, using a can and a balloon as the base. You may wish to have partners make their own puppets.

Wrap-Up and Assessment Hints
Display the completed puppets. Challenge volunteers to choose one of the puppets and identify all of the shapes used.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K