Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Shape City

Sherry McCullough
Bay District Schools


Students engage in review activities, identifying two- and three-dimensional shapes, and by describing similarities/differences and attributes. The teacher creates a model building. Then, students design and construct buildings to be added to a class Shape City. Summative assessment should begin today and will probably take two days to complete. See Summative Assessment (see Extensions) for procedures and materials.


The student knows two-dimensional shapes (for example, circles, squares, rectangles, triangles), describing similarities and differences.

The student sorts three-dimensional objects by varied attributes (for example, identifying which can roll, stack, or slide).

The student sorts three-dimensional objects according to geometric shapes (for example, cubes, spheres, cylinders, cones).


-Shape Flashcards (for review activity)
-Clear transparencies (create an example of recording sheet on the transparency)
-Containers of wooden shapes
-Recording sheets (one for each group - teacher generated to meet class needs)
-Overhead projector
-Pictures of buildings within a city


1. Gather materials:
-Shape flashcards (for review activity)
-Overhead projector
-Clear transparencies
-Containers of wooden shape blocks
-Pictures of buildings within a city
-Recording sheet

2. Practice designing, recording materials used and constructing a building prior to teaching the lesson.


1. Engage students in a review activity using shape flashcards, identifying two and three-dimensional shapes and asking students to discuss similarities/differences and attributes.

2. Introduce Shape City. Ask students to name different kinds of buildings that might be found in a city (example: houses, schools, etc.). Show pictures of simple buildings, focusing on and discussing the shapes of these buildings.

3. Model designing and constructing a building using wooden shapes and introduce the recording sheet (teacher-made). Use the overhead projector, markers and transparencies to demonstrate how to complete the recording sheet.

4. Divide students into cooperative groups of two or four in number. Students work together to design, construct and record the number of shapes used in their building construction. Upon completion, add the buildings to the class city.

5. Collect and check each groups' recording sheet and building for accuracy.

6. When the classroom Shape City is complete, guide students in discussion about their experience. Ask questions like: What was it like to work in cooperative groups? Or Does understanding two and three-dimensional shapes help you when you want to design and construct a building?

7. Prior to beginning the summative assessment, give students a review of all information learned during the unit, Shapes are Everywhere at School. Any type of review is acceptable as long as students are reviewing the following concepts:
a. Uses a map to identify and locate places
b. Knows terms that describe relative location (near, far, left, right, etc.)
c. Knows locations of various places in the school
d. Knows two-dimensional shapes and can describe similarities and differences
e. Sorts three-dimensional objects by varied attributes (roll, stack, slide)
f. Sorts three-dimensional objects according to geometric shape (cubes, spheres, cones)

* Summative assessment should begin today and will probably take two days to complete. See Summative Assessment attached file (see extensions) for procedures and materials.


1. Formatively assesses students' knowledge of two- and three-dimensional shapes, similarities/differences and attributes during the review activity with shape flashcards and wooden shape blocks. Ask key questions like: Lee, what is this shape? That is correct. This is a circle. Can you share some similarities/differences to other shapes? or Sue, can you sort the blocks by geometric shapes? Wow, that's right! Now, share some attributes of that shape.

2. Observe students as they work in cooperative groups to design, record materials used and construct a building to add to the class Shape City. Pay close attention to how they work together to design their building, work as information managers (recording the shapes and how many will be used to construct the building) and the actual construction of the building. You may wish to ask questions as they observe. For example: Can you tell me what your group has decided to build? Or Does each person have a job to do to help complete your building? Other questions that might be included are as follows:
-Who is keeping record of the shapes used to build your building?
-Can you tell me what you are constructing?
-What shapes do you plan to use?

3. Offer postive feedback such as: Group #3, Great job on your recording! It correlates with your actual building. Group #1, you need to recount and check your building shapes because they do not matchup. (Offer reteaching or modeling if needed!)

4. When the classroom Shape City is completed, involve students in guided discussion of their experiences within their cooperative groups. Use the following suggested questions:
-What two and three-dimensional shapes did your group use to construct your building?
-Did knowing what shapes stack, slide and roll help you in your design and construction?
-Did you find it hard to count and record all the shapes you used in your building?
-Was it beneficial to work as a cooperative team to design and construct your building?


1. Provide extra help for ESOL and ESE students as needed. Provide plenty of examples and hands-on materials.

2. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files, (if any).

Attached Files

Recording Sheet†††††File Extension: pdf

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