Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Geo Jammin' - Day 2, Lesson 4: Sing a Song of Shapes

Katie Koehnemann
Bay District Schools


Students learn five songs to define and develop understanding of the attributes of two- and three-dimensional figures and the meaning of mathematical terms. Through use of the attribute songs, students classify objects as either two- or three-dimensional.


The student uses volume, phrasing, and intonation appropriate for different situations (for example, large or small group settings, sharing oral stories, dramatic activities).

The student describes attributes of three-dimensional shapes using mathematical language (for example, curves, vertices, edges, faces, angles).

The student sorts two- and three-dimensional figures according to their attributes.

The student knows the names of two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures presented in various orientations in the environment.


-Geo George(ette) puppet
-Math Mouth word board (See Preparations)
-Quality Speaking poster (Lesson 2, Math Mouth)
-Transparency sheets that can be put through a computer printer
-Chart paper with markers
-Transparency of each song (See Associated File)
-A shape, cut from black construction paper, that is the same size as each of those containing songs lyrics on transparencies (square, triangle, and rectangle). Use shapes to cover song lyrics as students predict what they think the lyrics should include.
-Song lyrics printed on chart paper (Display in room for duration of the unit.)
-Student items brought from home (Lesson 3, Math Moments On My Mind)
-Classroom location for sorting and displaying shape samples
-Shape labels (Square, Rectangle, Triangle, Circle, Two-dimensional, Three-dimensional)
-An Assessment Management Tool for each student (See Associated Files in the Unit Plan)
-OPTIONAL: Cunningham, Patricia M., Hall, Dorothy P., and Sigmon, Cheryl M. [The Teacher’s Guide to the Four Blocks] (A Multimethod, Multilevel Framework for Grades 1-3). Greensboro, NC: Carson-Dellosa, 1999.
-OPTIONAL: Cunningham, Patricia M., Hall, Dorothy P., and Cunningham, James W. [Guided Reading the Four Blocks Way]. Greensboro, NC: Carson-Dellosa, 2000.


1. Print songs onto transparency sheets. (See Associated File)
2. Display the Math Mouth word board. (Lesson 2, Math Mouth)
3. Display the Quality Speaking poster. (Lesson 2, Math Mouth)
4. Cut from black construction paper a square, rectangle, and triangle the same size as each of the shapes containing the lyrics on the transparency song sheets.
5. Hand print song lyrics on chart paper to be displayed in the room for the duration of the unit.
6. Have a place for students to put items brought from home as they enter the classroom.
7. Locate a space for the classroom display of sorted shapes.
8. Print labels naming shapes for the sorting activity (Square, Rectangle, Triangle, Two-dimensional).
9. Print a label titled Three-dimensional.
10. Know the tune for the songs.
11. Copy the Literacy Link parent page for each student to take home. (See Associated File)
12. Have a clear understanding of the formative assessment that will be given during this lesson.
13. Use the Assessment Management Tool to record student formative assessment results. (See Associated Files in the Unit Plan)
14. Associated File contains:
Song Sheets (square, rectangle, triangle, two-dimensional, three-dimensional)
Literacy Link parent page


NOTE: This lesson incorporates strategies for both Working With Words and Guided Reading. In this lesson, Guided Reading is whole group. Utilize time blocks of both Reading Framework components during this lesson. Reading the song lyrics uses more time than either one of these components could single-handedly accomplish. Depending on attentiveness of students, a break may be included.

1. As students arrive with two-dimensional shape samples from home (Lesson 3, Math Moments On My Mind) place the objects in a designated location. Items will be used later in the sorting activity.
*Tip: Items such as cereal boxes, oatmeal cans, cans of food, paper towel rolls, cube notepads, rectangular notepads, books, etc. are needed to facilitate noting differences between these items and two-dimensional items. Have such items on hand to include in this activity. Students may bring in some three-dimensional objects.

2. Geo George congratulates students on their work to find two-dimensional shapes at home. He is anxious for the students to categorize them. Before categorizing, however, students need to review and practice vocabulary. Call students to gather around and sit on the floor near the Math Mouth word board.

3. Before beginning, remind students of qualities of good speaking by reviewing classroom chart.

4. Call on students to read math terms from the Math Mouth word board. Use review suggestions for a word board in [The Teacher's Guide to the Four Blocks]. After each word is read aloud, the student describes it, points out an example of it in the room, and/or explains its meaning.
*Formative assessment occurs as Geo George (or he can enlist the teacher’s help) listens for quality speaking traits. Offer positive and corrective feedback with specific praise. For example, “Great job! You pronounced each geometry word correctly.” Or, “I am sure you have a wonderful idea to share, but which speaking quality do you need to be sure to use when you want your ideas to be heard? Yes, turn up your volume button! Try sharing your idea with us again, this time with your volume up.”
*Formatively assess student knowledge of mathematical terms by listening for correct student responses. Offer positive and corrective feedback by re-stating correct responses and/or assisting student corrections. For example, “I really am proud of how you stated the line segments of a square are called sides. You used a Math Mouth word correctly.”

5. After reviewing vocabulary words, Geo George tells the students it is very important to remember what these terms mean and why they are important in describing different two-dimensional shapes. To make remembering easy and fun, he will teach them some songs.

6. All songs (See Associated File) are to the tune “Where is Thumbkin?” Geo George picture walks students through the lyrics of each song, utilizing pictures and graphics depicting the shape.

7. Begin with the Square song sheet. Lay the black square cut from construction paper over the lyrics on the transparency. Direct students to look at the pictures and graphics presented. Ask leading questions such as, “What shape is being presented?”, “How many squares do you see on the page?”, “Which of our Math Mouth words from the word board would you use to describe a square?”, etc. Record students’ predictions on chart paper. Give positive formative feedback by restating a student suggestion such as: Yes, I agree, it should say that a square has four equal sides. Give corrective feedback by asking clarifying questions such as: What kind of angles do you see?

8. After predictions are made, uncover the lyrics. Geo George reads the lyrics aloud, asking the teacher to assist him by pointing to the words as he reads. Ask students if they recognize any Math Mouth terms they predicted. (Compare charted predictions with the actual lyrics.)

9. Students practice reading the lyrics in various ways, such as echo reading with Geo George, and choral reading. Divide students into small groups, have each group read a certain line aloud, etc. (For details and ideas on these reading strategies see [Guided Reading the Four Blocks Way].)

10. Geo George asks if they know the song “Where is Thumbkin?” Refresh their memory by singing it once through. Instruct students to sing the tune as the words are read aloud. Geo George points out that this song helps us to remember why a square is a square.

11. Sing the Square song together in as many different ways as time allows. Sing loud and enjoy! Have students stand to sing and put movement and motion to it.

12. Follow this procedure for each song, Rectangle, Triangle, and Two-dimensional. (See Associated File for lyrics)

NOTE: If a break is needed, this may be a convenient place to have it.

13. Once all songs have been sung, direct students to go to the designated location and get one sample shape they brought from home. (Students could do this during the break.)

14. Call on various students to share the shape brought from home. Have students tell what shape it is, why it is that shape (describe attributes), and if and why it is two-dimensional. Remind students about quality speaking traits and formatively assess as students share. Geo George challenges students to see if the shape fits the corresponding song and if it fits the two-dimensional song.

15. Students sing the appropriate song aloud and agree or disagree if the shape has been correctly identified. If the student has wrongly classified it, allow the student to change his/her classification for it, or get assistance from a friend. Be prepared, some will select Geo George as the friend to help them. Sing the new song and check for correct classification of the shape as well as for two-dimensional criteria. Shapes, which fit the criteria correctly, will be set in the display space with the correct label. For example, set the sheet of paper brought in by a student in the display with the Rectangle label.

16. Some objects will not fit the criteria. Geo George asks if this shape fits the two-dimensional song. Student response should reflect that no, it doesn’t because you can measure it more than two ways, or it is different, or whatever realization the children have about it. Set such objects aside without a category label.
*For example: A student brings in a cereal box from home as an example of a rectangle. It is not a rectangle because it has more than four sides, it has more than four angles, more than four vertices, and it is not two-dimensional because it can be measured in more than two directions. Students should realize from using the songs to categorize that this is different, it is not a rectangle. Set all such items aside.

17. Time may be the enemy here. Do as many as there is time for, being sure that at least one of each two-dimensional shape meets the criteria of the aligned song.

18. Looking at the pile of objects that did not meet the two-dimensional criteria of the song, Geo George introduces the term that will justify the difference between these shapes and those that have been designated as two-dimensional. Due to the fact they can be measured in three ways they are said to be three-dimensional.

19. Put song lyrics for three-dimensional on the overhead and sing through a couple of times. Sing it again as an object in the cast-off group is checked for alignment with the criteria of three-dimensional. There will probably not be time to do all of the items in this category, but do at least one to give students a beginning understanding of the qualities of three-dimensional. There will be opportunity in Lesson 5 for students to do more categorizing of these items.

20. As transition is made to the next lesson, hang the song lyrics printed on chart paper in the room for students to view and use as a learning resource.


Students' understanding of geometric vocabulary is formatively assessed as students name shapes and describe the qualities using geometric vocabulary. Comprehension of concepts is formatively assessed as students sing songs to sort and categorize shapes, aligning shape characteristics with attributes listed in the songs. Quality speaking traits are formatively assessed and individual feedback given as Geo George orally converses with students about shapes. All formative assessment data should be used to drive the instruction of the unit.


*Lessons may reflect modifications of, but are designed in conjunction with the Reading Framework approach to classroom instruction and may be adapted to the Four Block Classroom.
1. This is Lesson 4 – Sing a Song of Shapes; a Working With Words lesson
Lessons 1 – 3 are for Day 1 of the unit Geo Jammin’
Lessons 4 – 7 are for Day 2 of the unit Geo Jammin’
Lessons 8 – 11 are for Day 3 of the unit Geo Jammin’
Lessons 12 – 15 are for Day 4 of the unit Geo Jammin’
Lessons 16 – 19 are for Day 5 of the unit Geo Jammin’
Lesson 20 is for Day 6 of the unit Geo Jammin’
Lesson 21 is for Day 7 of the unit Geo Jammin’
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 unit’s 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).
3. Check the Geo Jammin’ Glossary for word definitions. The glossary is located in the Associated File of Lesson 2, Math Mouth.
4. The Facts Please, Mr. Mumble is an interactive Student Web Lesson that addresses the standard: the student describes attributes of two-dimensional shapes using mathematical language (for example, curves, edges, vertices, angles). Students should visit the lesson regularly for optimal practice in describing two-dimensional attributes. The Facts Please, Mr. Mumble can be visited by clicking the link in the Weblinks section of this lesson plan or by using the following URL:
5. Ask the ESE teacher for further modifications with regards to students needing extra assistance and/or learning strategies.

Web Links

This is an interactive Student Web Lesson that addresses the standard: the student describes attributes of two-dimensional shapes using mathematical language (for example, curves, edges, vertices, angles).
The Facts Please, Mr. Mumble

Attached Files

Song Sheets and Literacy Link parent page     File Extension: pdf

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