Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Learn The Shapes!

Sherry McCullough
Bay District Schools


Students are introduced to two-dimensional shapes and explore their similarities and differences. They go on a “Shape Search” and create illustrations of shapes to share with their peers!


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

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

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).


-Two-dimensional shapes flashcards
-Wooden/plastic shapes (enough for each child to have)
-Chart or board with markers
-Drawing paper, pencils, and glue
-Pre-cut construction paper shapes
-Classroom area for search


1. Collect two-dimensional shape flashcards, markers, board or chart, and wooden/plastic shapes for today's lesson preparation.

2. Also collect drawing paper, pencils, glue, pre-cut construction paper shapes (for art shape collage), as well as the chart paper and markers.

3. Collect building site shapes and school campus maps to use for reinforcement and review throughout the day.


Day 3 of the unit, Shapes are Everywhere at School

Review concepts from the previous day.
a. Use terms such as near, left, right, behind, in front of, when describing the location of various places around campus.
b. Use the campus map to have students identify various locations around the school.

1. Introduce two-dimensional shapes to the students and describe the shape, how many sides it has or if it is round, and its similarities and differences.

2. Allow time for the students to manipulate and play with the wooden/plastic shapes and state their characteristics, similarities and differences.

3. Students are encouraged to join in the “Shape Search” throughout the classroom. Begin the search by modeling and saying: I see a rectangle (top of a student desk). It has two short sides and two long sides. Allow the students approximately 5-10 minutes to search for the shapes, then call the students back and encourage them to share their findings and list items under shape titles on the board or chart. Ask specific questions and check for students' identification and understanding of the shapes, their similarities and differences. Ask questions like: Sandy, you found a circle on the rug, how is a circle different from the square? Yes, that is correct, a circle is round and a square is not. Joe, your shape was a triangle. How is it similar to a rectangle? No, think about, both shapes have sides.

4. Allow time for students to illustrate the shapes they have seen when searching for real world objects, such as, Joe saw a rectangle shaped table so he would draw a rectangle or Sue saw a triangle shaped easel so she would draw a triangle. Then the students share their drawings,identifying their shape/shapes and explaining its similarities/differences in relation to other shapes found in the classroom.

*Use every opportunity to formatively assess the students throughout each phase of this lesson, giving immediate, positive and corrective feedback. Re-teach as needed! Ask students to identify the shapes on flashcards and ask specific questions which pinpoint students' understanding of similarities/differences. You may ask questions such as: Janie, what shape is on the this flashcard? Correct, it is a rectangle. Can you share some ways it is different or similar to a square? Yes, they are alike because the both have four sides; however, they are different because a rectangle has two short and two long sides, whereas,the square has four equal sides. Sue, what shape do you see on the flashcard and how is it similar/different from other shapes? No, think about this shape. It is a triangle and is like the square and rectangle because it has sides and different from the circle because the circle is round.

5. Throughout the day, use the following suggestions for reinforcing lessons #1 and #2:

a) Use flashcards for review as a group or two peers can review as partners. Be sure students identify shapes and similarities/differences.

b) Play the I Spy-game. (Model for students by saying: I see a shape that has two short sides and two long sides. What shape am I describing?)

c) Use school location shape cards and school campus map. Students place the shapes in the appropriate places on the map.

d) Allow time to manipulate and play with wooden/plastic shapes during free or play time.

e) Provide drawing paper for drawing shapes and maps during free or play time.

f) Free art activity - create a shape collage (using pre-cut two-dimensional shapes).

g) Allow time to use school campus map and find building sites within the school campus area.


Formatively assess students throughout the lesson stages, being sure students are on the right track, being careful to provide positive, immediate feedback and reteaching if needed. See lesson procedures for specific criteria.


1. Provide one-on-one teaching and reinforcement to ESE and ESOL students as needed. Provide many opportunities to manipulate and play with shapes, work on flashcards and create shapes through drawing and art activities.

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).
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