Exploring 2 and 3 Dimensional Figures
sent off Dec. 2012


1.6 Geometry and spatial reasoning. The student uses attributes to identify two- and three-dimensional geometric figures. The student compares and contrasts two- and three-dimensional geometric figures or both.
1.6A Describe and identify two-dimensional geometric figure including circles, triangles, rectangles and squares (a special type of rectangle).
1.6B Describe and identify three-dimensional geometric figures, including spheres, rectangular prisms (including cubes), cylinders, and cones.
1.6C Describe and identify two- and three-dimensional geometric figures in order to sort them according to a given attribute using informal and formal language.
1.6D Use concrete models to combine two-dimensional geometric figures to make new geometric figures

Core Components:
  • Draws and verbally describes attributes of circles, triangles, rectangles and squares.
  • Builds shapes using manipulatives
  • Recognizes that a square is a special type of rectangle and explains using informal and formal language. Informal language: Both the rectangle and the square have 4 sides and 4 corners where all the corners are the same, but for the square, all the sides are also the same. Formal language: 4 sides, 4 congruent angles; squares have 4 congruent sides; the point at the corners: vertex; they have 4 vertices. (Note: The term “right angle” is not introduced in the TEKS until grade 4.)
  • Differentiates between square and rectangle.
  • Uses real world objects such as cans, boxes, balls, ice cream cones, cubes.
  • Sorts and describes shapes.
  • Sorts and describes figures by attribute.
  • Names attributes of a given figure.
  • Identifies the common attribute of 2 figures or a group of figures.
  • Describes shapes such as triangles, rectangles, squares, circles, spheres, cones, prisms, cubes and cylinders using a combination of informal and formal language.
  • Uses pattern blocks, attribute blocks, etc., to create new 2-D figures and names the new figure if it is a standard shape.

circle, triangle, rectangle, square-rectangle, sphere, cylinder, cone, cube, rectangular prism, plane shape, attribute, face, edge, figure, vertex, vertices, side

Whole Group Mini Lesson:

1.6A and 1.6C What‟s the Name of That Figure? – Students will learn attributes of two-dimensional figures. *This lesson is adapted from Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics K-3 Activity 7.2 “What‟s My Shape” on page 195.
1.6D This lesson will provide students with an understanding of how to combing various 2D figures to make new geometric figures. It is a 3 day lesson but can be modified. There are centers included in the lesson also.

Additional Chart you could use for a 1.6D lesson

Shape Cards Posters – 2 Day project
Introduce the vocabulary to the students, emphasizing corners and sides and what these attributes look like on the 4 2-D shapes: circle, triangle, rectangle, and square. Discuss how squares and rectangles are alike and how they are different.

Have students break up into table groups and cut out the shapes from the shape cards (Investigations M21, M22, and M23 located in bucket). Students will work together to sort the shape cards into groups based on their attributes.

Set criteria with students for posters. What do you think should be on the paper? What should it look like? Should students be able to color/decorate the poster? Students should be able to share and describe their shape groups and why they sorted the shapes into the groups that they did. Students should label their shapes and attributes as well.

When posters are complete, students will share with the class their completed posters.

Real World Object Sort

Materials: Various 3D real world objects, 3D shapes, digital camera

Have students make piles of the objects that they brought in from home or you gave them in the center of their tables. Distribute the 3D figures among the tables as well. Have the students work together to sort the objects based on their attributes. Have students photograph the groups they created. For example, all of the spheres together, the cubes together, etc.

Have students present as a table groups how they sorted their objects. Introduce the math vocabulary to students and have groups determine what objects are what 3D shapes. Have students make any rearrangements to their sorted piles.Have students regroup and share any changes they made to their assortments. This is a great time to ask the essential questions!

Part 2-
Materials: 3D shapes, butcher paper

Create a large butcher paper chart with the shape headings (rectangular prism, sphere, cone, cylinder, and cube). Have students list the real world objects that are in these shapes. Refer back to the objects on the table and the various attributes of each shape if needed for students to think of objects.
Extension- Hunt around the school and/or playground and add to the lists, have the students write and draw them down in their math journal


  • How can shapes be identified? sorted?
  • How are squares and rectangles alike and different?
  • What are the differences and similarities between these* figures? (*include 2D and 3D)
  • What are some attributes that distinguish figures from each other?
  • What are some examples of these shapes in our lives? (referring to 3D shapes)
  • How might we combine figures to make new figures? (2D only)

Math Stations/Independent Activities:

Shape Riddle Book

Students will create a flip book. On the outside flap, students write 2 to 3 clues about the object using shape attributes and what it looks like. For example, “What has 0 sides, 0 corners, and looks like my wheel?” Students will draw, color, and label the inside flap with the answer to the riddle.

Shape Hunt

Students will divide a page in their Math Journals into 4 sections and label each triangle, square, rectangle, and circle. Students will go on a hunt (indoors/outdoors/buddies’ class teacher’s discretion) to find items that are the shape. They draw the shape and label. If time permits, they may go back to their tables and color their discoveries.

Van de Walle
“Constructing and Dissecting Shapes” pgs. 196-20

Sort 3D shapes - use real-world object picture cards

Literature Connections:
Shape books are in the closet and have been requested from the library.

Technology Integration:
Kidspiration 3 - it is on every laptop. Students can sort and make patterns with the 2D shapes. It's awesome!!! Be sure to click on Math View/ Pattern Blocks.

Number Crew: The Shape Escape (9:32)

Animal Colors and Shapes (16:16)

Discovering Math: Geometry (17:31)

Common Assessment:

Use the math kit that includes:
  • 3 sets of 250 pattern blocks
  • 3 sets of mini geometric solids
  • set of 500 craft sticks (to create shapes)
  • set of 10 large geometric shapes
  • Math by All Means (a book of geometry)

math kit.JPG