Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Geo Jammin' By Design - Day 2, Lesson 8: Can You Please Give Me Directions?

Katie Koehnemann
Bay District Schools


Guided reading strategies are utilized to teach students how to effectively read informational text. Challenged to cut a tangram, students read how-to directions and demonstrate their understanding of geometric terms to complete the task successfully.


The student reads informational texts for specific purposes (including but not limited to performing a task, learning a new task, sequentially carrying out the steps of a procedure, locating information to answer a question).

The student knows congruent shapes.

The student identifies shapes that can be combined or separated (for example, a rectangle can be separated into two triangles).


-An ample supply of 6 x 6 inch squares of colored construction paper
-Scissors for each student
-Printed copies of the directions for cutting a tangram
-Marker for adding Tangram to the word board
-Print and prepare Literacy Link page to send home


1) Cut an ample supply of 6 x 6 inch squares of colored construction paper.
2) Copy ‘Cutting a Tangram’ directions for each student. (In Associated File)
3) Print ‘Cutting a Tangram’ directions on chart paper.
4) Have scissors for each student.
5) Write the word Tangram on a piece of paper to add to the word board.
6) Secure an envelope for each student.
7) Print and prepare Literacy Link.


NOTE: This is presented as a whole group guided reading lesson, but may be used with small groups as well. Whether teaching to large or small groups, teach as students’ reading levels require to meet their reading needs and to make this a rich guided reading experience. Option #1 may be used with one set of students and Option #2 with another, depending on the reading abilities of the students.

1) Congratulate students for doing a good job cutting squares on the diagonal and exploring shapes with the resulting congruent triangles. (Lesson 7, Start At Square One) They are now ready to try a more challenging cutting task.

2) Hand out to each student a pair of scissors, a 6x6 inch square of construction paper, and a set of directions. (In Associated File) Directions are written on a second grade reading level with two exceptions:
First, there is the inclusion of many math content words, but students have been introduced to them, and one purpose of this lesson is to spend time in content vocabulary to increase understanding.
Second, there are a few words included that students should pick up easily because of the repetition with which they are used or because of obvious context clues. Be prepared to introduce or teach these words as new vocabulary. They are: crease, half, fold, bottom, paper, piece, and opposite.

3) OPTION #1 – Conduct a whole group guided reading lesson using the directions. Students cut a tangram as the reading lesson progresses.
OPTION #2 – Allow students to read and follow the directions independently to see how well they do on their own. Follow by handing out a second paper square. Conduct a whole group guided reading lesson, allow students to uncover and understand where they misunderstood the language of the directions and made mistakes the first time.

4) Formative assessment occurs as a class (or reading group) discussion is facilitated. Teacher and peers offer positive and corrective feedback as students share which key words helped them to complete the task correctly, and where mistakes were made. Feedback should guide students to a keen awareness and understanding of shapes within a shape and use of specific mathematical language.

5) To review the shapes: Hold up each piece from a cut tangram. Call on students to name the shape. Write the name of the shape on the board. Continue until each different shape is identified and recorded where students can read it.

6) Direct students to use their pencils to label each tangram piece correctly.

7) Distribute envelopes to students. Students place labeled tangram in the envelope, write their names on the envelopes and pass in.

8) Formatively assess individual students’ labeled tangrams for accuracy and correctness. Assuredly, these tangrams will be rough and not exact, however, check for the correct types of shapes and correct number of each produced. For example, there should not be a circle or pentagon included, only square, triangles of varying sizes, parallelogram, and trapezoid. (Once checked for accuracy, students can use for play and games. For example, challenge a partner to use the pieces to recreate the original square, or correctly naming each shape.)

9) Send home with students a Literacy Link half sheet. They can challenge their parents to cut a tangram.


Formative assessment occurs as students read directions, share their interpretation of what they think they are to do, and/or demonstrate their understanding of the specific mathematical terms by cutting a tangram puzzle. Through positive and corrective feedback students are guided to have a keen awareness of specific mathematical language that is crucial in performing the task successfully.


1) This is Lesson 8 – Could You Please Give Me Directions?; Component – Guided Reading
Lessons 1 – 6 are for Day 1 of the unit Geo Jammin’ By DeSign
Lessons 7 – 11 are for Day 2 of the unit Geo Jammin’ By DeSign
Lessons 12 – 17 are for Day 3 of the unit Geo Jammin’ By DeSign
Lessons 18 – 23 are for Day 4 of the unit Geo Jammin’ By DeSign
Lessons 24 – 28 are for Day 5 of the unit Geo Jammin’ By DeSign
Lessons 29 – 32 are for Day 6 of the unit Geo Jammin’ By DeSign.
Lessons 33 – 38 are for Day 7 of the unit Geo Jammin’ By DeSign

Lessons may reflect modifications of, but are designed in conjunction with the Reading Framework approach to classroom instruction and may be adapted to the Four Block Classroom.
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

Support Material     File Extension: pdf

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