Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Ship Shape

Barbara Brown


Ship Shape allows students to experiment with, identify, and follow teacher-directed instruction toward understanding two-dimensional geometric shapes found within the environment.


The student draws and classifies two-dimensional figures having up to six or more sides.


- (squared) Geo boards (one per child or one per group) and 25 pegs
- Multi-colored bands (primary colors) 24 total bands (6 green, 6 red, 6 orange, and 6 blue) if possible.
- (1) transparent geo board for overhead projector
- Overhead projector
- Dot paper
- Colored pencils or colored crayons (primary colors)
- (1) Spiral notebook - to be used as a Math Journal


1. Gather materials
2. Set up overhead


1. Give each student a geo board (or one geo board per group), one small bag of primary colored bands, one sheet of dot paper, and primary colored pencils or crayons.

2. Gain studentís attention by allowing 3-5 minutes for students to create different geometric shapes with geo boards and colored bands.

3. Lead the class in brainstorming multiple shapes found in the environment and the characteristics of each shape. Be sure to include shapes that have many sides.

4. Model the construction of a geometrically shaped ship using the transparent geo board and colored bands on the overhead projector (including squares, rectangles, triangles, and hexagons) as students follow along on their own geo board.

5. Give definition and list similarities, then identify uses of geometrical shapes within the environment as you model each shape on the transparent overhead geo board. Example: The octagon has eight equal sides and can be seen used as a STOP SIGN for traffic control. What other uses do you see for this shape in the environment? How is the octagon like other shapes? Be sure to count the sides.

6. Direct students to construct a Ship Shape (including: square, rectangle, triangle, etc.) of any type ship using only geometric shapes on student geo board using colored bands. Students must include at least one example of each shape discussed and label the shapes that they use.

7. Verbally assist students in understanding the concepts of spatial relationships during this transference from geo board to dot paper.

8. Upon student completion of drawing Ship Shape on dot paper, ask the following questions while students log answers into their individual Math Journals:

A) Describe in detailed written text how to draw one of the shapes used in your Ship Shape (i.e. square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, etc.)

B) Explain what geometric shapes are found in your Ship Shape.

C) Compare how your Ship Shape is similar to a peerís Ship Shape.

9. During the lesson, answer any questions regarding utilized geometric shapes found within the environment.

10. Encourage the use of complete sentences, correct punctuation, and capitalization while writing journal entries.


Student assessment is on a mastery or non-mastery basis. It will be determined by the drawing and labeling of geometrical Ship Shapes from studentís geo board onto dot paper (which must include the shapes discussed) and by the writing of three complete sentences into their Math Journals. (These sentences are derived from the three teacher questions answered in Teacher Procedures #7.)
Any submission of work below these standards is unacceptable, and the student should retry after receiving feedback and additional practice.

Web Links

Web supplement for Ship Shape
Discovery School

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