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In this post, we’ll look at some activities to help students describe, analyze, and categorize shapes by their attributes. This means students are going to need multiple opportunities to work with, talk about, draw pictures of, and write about different kinds of 2 dimensional shapes.
Before students can describe and categorize shapes, they need the words to talk about shapes. Students need to know basic shape names, number of sides and vertices, and types of lines and angles. If you students still need practice with basic geometry vocabulary, try this free printable geometry vocabulary review.
Use Geoboards to Sovle or Create Riddles
These Geometry Riddle cards are a fun way for students to practice identifying shapes based on their attributes. When students create shapes on geoboards, they can be easily changed as students learn new clues. Since students are given the attributes, this will also help them learn the vocabulary in a low risk environment. In a small group, have one student read the riddle and the other students try to make the shape on their geoboard. Some riddles will have one right answer, while others may have multiple correct answers. Encourage students to talk about why the shape they created fits the clue on the riddle.
Use Pattern Blocks to Compare Shapes
This activity works well as a whole class or small group activity. Students choose two pattern blocks to compare and contrast. Using a white board and white board marker, students draw a venn diagram and place each pattern block above one circle. Students fill out the venn diagramm based on the attributes of their shapes. Posting an anchor chart of vocabulary terms will help students who are struggling.
Use Tri-folds to Practice and Assess Learning
Once students have had multiple opportunities to use manitpulatives to sort different shapes as well as practice sharing with a small group or the whole class their reasoning, it’s time for students to show what they know. Tri-folds are perfect for students to practice what they have learned and can be used independently or in small groups. You can even send them home for homework!
3rd & 4th Grade Geometry Activities:
Download the Geometry Riddle Cards
More Geometry Resources
The following blog posts include freebies & resources for upper elementary students.
- Types of Angles – free printable