Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Fancy Names

Christine Davis
Bay District Schools


After learning about closed and open figures, students will explore their own names to see if they contain closed figures.


The student knows attributes of two-dimensional shapes (for example, vertices, edges).


- 4 ˝” X 6” pieces of construction paper (assorted colors)
- Different color markers
- 1” pieces of tissue paper (can be torn to approximate size)
- Several different colors of glitter
- Glue
- Pie tins or small trays
- White board or overhead
- White board overhead markers


1. Get markers and overhead if needed.
2. Cut construction paper into 41/2” X 6” squares.
3. Write each child’s name on a square. Make sure each name has at least 1 closed figure. Use the last name if necessary.
4. Prepare several pie tins with glitter.
5. Cut/tear tissue paper into 1” squares. You may want to place these pieces on a pie tin or small bowl for easy storage.
6. Get glue ready to be passed out.


1. Draw a square on the board. Tell the students to pretend that it is a fence. Put an X in the square and tell the class to pretend that it is a cow.

2. Ask the students if the cow can get out of the fence. Take several student responses.

3. Explain to the class that the gate is closed and the cow cannot get out of the fence. This shape is a closed figure because there is no way out.

4. Draw another square on the board, but leave a small part of one side incomplete. Tell the class that this is what the fence looks like this time. Put an X in it and tell the class that it is the cow.

5. Ask the students if the cow can get out of the fence. Take several student responses.

6. Explain to the class that the gate has been left open and the cow can get out. This is an open figure.

7. Draw several more figures on the board, some open and some closed. Place an X in each figure.

8. For each figure, ask the students if it is a closed figure or an open figure. Give corrective feedback (Are you sure it is a closed figure? I think the cow can get out right here.) or positive praise (Great thinking. The cow cannot get out, so it is a closed figure.) as needed.

9. Repeat step 8 several more times until students understand open and closed figures. Be sure to provide corrective feedback and positive praise as needed.

10. After students understand open and closed figures, write a student’s name on the board. Be sure that it has several letters that contain closed figures (ex. Brandon, Jessica, David). Ask the students if they see any closed figures in the name. Have a student come to the board and color in the closed figures. Give corrective feedback (Are you sure that the v needs to be colored in. If the cow can get out, it is an open figure.) and positive praise (Good. The B in Brandon has 2 closed figures in it. The cow can’t leave its fence in these figures).

11. Repeat step 10 for several more names until the students understand which letters have closed figures and which letters do not.

12. Tell the students that they are going to get to find the closed figures in their names.

13. Pass out the papers with the students’ names on them. Tell the students not to touch the supplies until they have been given all the instructions or they will not get to do this activity. Pass out the glue, tissue paper pieces, and pie tins of glitter.

14. Show the students your pre-made name card. Explain to the students that they need to decorate every closed figure in their name. Tell them that they can use the little pieces of tissue paper or glitter to decorate the figures with. Demonstrate this using glitter for one closed figure and tissue paper for another closed figure.

15. For the glitter, show the students that they need to use just a small amount of glue and spread it all around the closed area. Hold the paper over the glitter tray and carefully pick up some glitter and sprinkle it over the glue. Continue until the glue is completely covered. Gently turn the paper over and tap the backside. Go on to the next shape.

16. For the tissue paper, show the students that they need to use a small amount of glue and spread it over the closed area. Take a small piece of paper and crumple it into a small ball. Press it on the glued area. Continue until the whole space is covered.

17. Have the students carefully put up the supplies and clean up their areas when they are done with their name.

18. Allow the students time to share their names with the class as a way to wrap up this activity.

19. Assess the completed product.


1. Formatively assess the students during the teaching of the lesson, providing corrective feedback and positive praise as necessary. Check to see that students are using the resources correctly and appropriately.
2. Assess the finished product. The students will get an S for their work if they made 0-1 mistakes, and N if they made 2 mistakes, and a U if they made 3 or more mistakes. If corrective feedback is necessary, do this one-to-one so as not to embarrass the student.


1. Be creative. Add different colored hole punches, colored sand, birdseed or whatever else you can think of to glue in the closed figures.
2. After teaching about open and closed figures, you might want to put their names at a center and have the students work on them during the week.
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