Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Sammy Discovers Shapes at School

Sherry McCullough
Bay District Schools


Introduce the students to maps, take them on a grand tour of the school campus, and then involve them in real world experiences using maps!


The student uses simple maps, globes, and other three-dimensional models to identify and locate places.

The student knows terms that describe relative location (for example, near, far, up, down, left, right, behind, in front).

The student knows the locations of various places in the school (for example, office, library, playground, cafeteria, bathrooms).


-Downloaded copy of the pictures for flannel board story and the story
-Scissors, glue, flannel, board tape and flannel board
-Various maps such as map of USA, state or city and school campus map
-Wooden or cardboard map puzzles
-Old maps, construction paper, drawing paper, crayons, markers, pencils


1. Set up a flannel board.
2. Download story, “Sammy Discovers Shapes at School” and cut out pictures. Color, cut and glue flannel board tape to the back of cut-outs.
3. Preview the story.
4. Locate and gather various maps (such as map of USA, state and city) and school campus nap with shapes (photos already glued on). Make multiple copies of the school campus map as students will be doing many activities with this map.
5. Pre-arrange the tour of various building sites with proper facility members.
6. Gather cardboard and wooden map puzzles for center time or play activities.
7. Gather construction paper, drawing paper, old maps, scissors, glue, crayons, pencils, etc. for free art activities.


Prior to beginning this unit, the diagnostic assessment should be administered. You may want to administer the assessment on Thursday or Friday of the week prior to beginning the unit, so you can have time to review the findings and adjust lesson plans accordingly. (See Extensions for the Diagnostic Assessment information)

*This lesson only addresses the portion of SSB 112 that deals with maps.

Day 2 of the unit, Shapes are Everywhere at School
1)Today's lesson begins by presenting a flannel board story to the students. The story is entitled, Sammy Discovers Shapes at School. (This story can be downloaded, along with pictures that can be cut out and used along with a flannel board.) At the close of the story, involve students in a discussion of the problem and solution from the story and focus on how the school campus map is helpful as Sammy finds his way around the school campus.

2) Introduce maps to students by showing several maps such as a map of the state, a map of the world or the United States, and finally, a school campus map. Point out the building site locations (pictures glued on shapes and already attached to the school campus map). Reinforce the reasons the students need to know where these building sites are located. Use words that tell the students where things on the map are located. Words like near, far, across, left, right, etc. are listed on a chart by the teacher or students as the words are being introduced.

*Ask students a variety of questions relating to the maps. For example:
-Has anyone noticed how on this map, Florida is near Alabama and Georgia? (USA)
-Does anyone see how close Florida is to the Gulf of Mexico? (USA)
-Can someone locate our state capital? (state)
-Is Panama City near Tallahassee? (state)
-Where do we enter our school building each day? (school campus map)
-Have you noticed that our classroom is located across from the media center
on the left side? (school campus map)

3) Go on a tour of the school campus, visiting key locations such as the office, media center, cafeteria, classroom, and bathrooms. During the tour, point out how different rooms relate to other rooms within the school building: the main office is located next to our principal's office; the kindergarten classes are housed within the media complex; the bathrooms are in our classrooms, etc.

Ask questions as the students tour the school campus:
-What building site is located at the front of our school building?
-Is the main office near the principal's office?
-Is our classroom inside the media complex?

4) Returning to the classroom, review the school campus map with the students, being sure to focus on the key building site photo shapes.

*This is an excellent opportunity to formatively assess the students' understanding of maps and location. Check for student responses and listen for students' knowledge of terms that describe location. Then use feedback such as: Yes, that's correct. The nurse's office is next to the main office. Or No, look again. Is the girls' bathroom next to or across from the boys' bathroom? Ask a few important questions about maps and location, encouraging feedback from the students during this time. Suggested questions may include:
-What is a map?
-Why are maps helpful?
-How can I use a map?
-Does the school campus map really help me find my way around school?
-What are some words we use to describe location?
-Where is the nurse's office located?
-Where is the cafeteria located?
-Where is our classroom located?

Throughout the day, continue to provide many practice opportunities for the students to review by using these suggested activities:
a) Provide maps for the students to look at and role play with during free time.
b) Provide drawing paper, crayons, markers and pencils for students to create their own maps.
c) Use construction paper and old maps for a free art activity such as designing a picture of a location on campus. Or drawing a map of their house, neighborhood, etc.
d) Allow time for students to explore and manipulate wooden or cardboard map puzzles blocks during play or center time.
e) Students can retell the flannel board story to other students.
f) Provide time for students to use school campus maps when moving throughout the building during the day to reinforce how maps are helpful!

*Again, this is an great opportunity to formatively assess the students' understanding of the lesson objectives taught in this lesson. Redirect students if necessary. Check for student responses and listen for their understanding of terms that describe location and maps. Use guiding feedback like: Yes, the classroom is located on the far side of the media center complex. Or No, think about how we come into the school building each morning. We enter the building through the double doors at the front of the school.


Formative assessment will be used throughout this lesson. See lesson procedures for specific criteria.


1. Provide extra help and guidance for ESOL and ESE students as needed. Reinforce story by retelling it if needed. Provide visual aids and plenty of hands-on materials for reinforcing maps, etc.

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).

Attached Files

Sammy Discovers Shapes at School     File Extension: pdf

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