Beacon Lesson Plan Library

What a SHAPEly fit!

Jennifer Carter
St. Lucie County Schools


Students will explore polygons and their attributes during hands-on activities. Students will use this information to create quilt squares with geometrical shapes (circles, triangles, rectangles, squares). Students will create a classroom quilt by assembling the quilt squares.


The student given a verbal description, draws and/or models two- and three-dimensional shapes and uses appropriate geometric vocabulary to write a description of a figure or a picture composed of geometric figures.


pattern blocks
overhead projector
white and colored paper
overhead pattern blocks
overhead pens
performance based assessment
cooperative group activity checklist


1. Gather all materials to use/pass out as needed throughout the lesson (see materials).

2. Cut white paper into nine by nine inch squares, one square per two students.


1. The teacher walks to the front of the classroom and says, “My, it is cold in here. I think I need to cover up.” The teacher covers up with a quilt. The teacher guides a classroom discussion about the quilt and the shapes it holds within (shape of the quilt, shape of the quilt squares, and shapes within the quilt squares).

2. When a student points out that there is a square, circle, rectangle, or triangle on the quilt, the teacher will place that pattern block on the overhead projector. Students will name the attributes of the shape with teacher direction as needed. (Attributes should include: circle-no sides, square-four congruent sides, rectangle- two sets of congruent sides, triangle-three sides).

3. The teacher introduces the task. Each pair of students will design a quilt square using pattern blocks and a 9 x 9” piece of paper. The following criteria will need to be written on the overhead:

*Use as many blocks as possible to fill in the 9 x 9” square
*Blocks cannot go over the edges of the square.

4. Distribute and review the required checklist that must be completed during the activity. (You may want to make a transparency of this to display on the overhead, during the activity, so that if necessary you can easily refer to it).

5. After the students have designed their quilt square with pattern blocks, they will create their quilt square with colored paper. Students will trace each pattern block onto the corresponding colored paper (red triangle pattern block = trace triangle on red colored paper). Students will cut out the shapes and glue onto the white 9 x 9” paper to produce their quilt square made of paper.

6. The teacher will collect the cooperative group checklists (make sure all members of the group have put their names at the top).

7. The teacher and students will assemble the quilt squares to form a classroom quilt. The teacher will lead a classroom discussion about the shapes of the quilt.

8. Teacher can display the quilt as a bulletin board as well as a source for future instruction (see extensions).


Students can self-assess by correcly tracing the pattern blocks and creating a design within the quilt square. (If their pattern does not fit within the quilt square, they can self-correct and create a new design).

Teacher will assess whether students worked together in their groups successfully, by collecting the checklist the cooperative groups were required to complete, during this activity. Also, during the assembly of the quilt, the teacher can informally assess students based on their explanation of their design for their quilt square. All students within each cooperative group, should be able to describe each of the shapes they used and some of their characteristics as well as explain the reasoning behind their design of their quilt square.

A perfomance based assessment (see attached file) can be given that requires students to draw a square, rectangle, triangle, and circle as well as list a characteristic for each one of those shapes. (For example: square - four congruent sides, circle - no sides, rectangle - 2 sets of congruent sides, triangle, 3 sides).


1. MATH-This lesson can introduce congruent and similar shapes, reflection, symmetry, perimeter, and area. The quilt can be displayed throughout the whole unit in math as a teaching tool.

2. SCIENCE-Mix colors to form other colors. Study of constellations and the shapes made by stars.

3. SOCIAL STUDIES-Research quilts and their history. Have students bring in quilted items from home to share and discuss.

4. READING-Students can read stories using quilts such as “Tar Beach”, “Cassie’s Word Quilt”, “Sharing Grandma’s Gift”, “The Keeping Quilt”, “Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt”, and “Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt”.

5. WRITING-Students can write a narrative story about the picture shown in their quilt square design. Students can write an expository response explaining the steps to creating a quilt square.
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