Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Listen to a Shape

Carolynne Gischel
Colleges and Universities - Florida


The student will identify basic shapes (circle, square, rectangle, triangle) and describe the attributes of each.


The student understands and describes the characteristics of basic two- and three-dimensional shapes.

The student uses real-life experiences and physical materials to describe, classify, compare, and sort geometric figures, including squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, cubes, rectangular solids, spheres, pyramids, cylinders, and prisms, according to the number of faces, edges, bases, and corners.


-[Listen to a Shape]by Marcia Brown, Watts Franklin, 1979.
-Construction paper
-Chart paper
-Geometric solids
-Various items that are geometric shapes (soda can, ice-cream cone, cracker box, block, tennis ball, etc.)


1. Obtain and read [Listen to a Shape] by Marcia Brown.
2. Gather materials.
3. Teach cutting and gluing skills to students.
4. Teach expectations for cooperative groups.

Preparation for the Extension:
1. Gather geometric solids.
2. Gather various items that are geometric shapes.
3. Prepare Mystery Bag by filling a non-transparent bag with geometric items.
4. Set up area that individual student can pull item from bag to view it privately where other students can't see.


Session 1:
1. Read the book [Listen to a Shape] by Marcia Brown to the class.
2. Discuss items and their shapes that are found in nature and students' environment.
3. Ask students for words to describe shapes and list responses on chart paper. (Examples: round, corner, point, etc.).
4. Teacher provides direct instruction on these terms: faces, edges, bases, and corners.

Session 2:
1. Using the list found on the chart paper from previous session, review words used to describe shapes and specific terminology.
2. Explain to students that they will be working in groups to locate pictures of the basic geometric shapes (square, triangle, rectangle) from magazines. Tell students to cut out two of each shape.
3. Form cooperative groups of three or four students each.
4. Distribute magazines and scissors.
5. Explain and demonstrate to students how they will paste the shapes on construction paper.
6. Distribute construction paper and glue.
7. Have students copy words from the chart paper to label each shape.
8. Close the lesson by allowing students to share pictures with class and identify and describe each shape correctly. This will serve as the assessment for the lesson.
9. (optional) Teacher can make frames for pictures using colorful paper cut into basic shapes with middle cut out for frame.

Design Qualities:
Content and Substance
Organization of Knowledge
Affirmation of Performance


The student has met the objective when he/she shows his/her pictures to the class and identifies and describes each shape correctly. Please see attached file for checklist.


1. Visit website featured in WebLinks section. Click on Shapes section. Teacher reads and models how to identify shapes in this section.

2. Place geometric solids and/or household items with geometric solid shapes in the Mystery Bag. Have a student pull one item from the bag in a hidden area so other students can't see it. Student looks at the item and then describes the item to the class using words and terminology taught in lesson. Students take turns guessing at the shape of the item being described. When correct shape is identified, show item to class. Student who guesses correctly gets to select the next item.

Web Links

Web supplement for Listen to a Shape
Carmine's Introduction to Line and Shape

Attached Files

A checklist for assessment of the lesson and Goal 3 Standards.     File Extension: pdf

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