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Activity

We're Going on a Shape Hunt!

 

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We're Going on a Shape Hunt!

Grades K – 2
Activity Time 30 to 60 minutes (can be done over different days)
Publisher International Reading Association
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

  • Construction paper and scissors, if cutting out two-dimensional shapes

  • A variety of shaped containers (such as an empty can, shoe box, or ring box) if demonstrating three-dimensional shapes

  • Any shape-related picture book, such as The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns (Scholastic, 2008); Round Trip by Ann Jonas (HarperCollins, 1990); Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet by Ann Whitford Paul (HarperCollins, 1996); or Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong (Chronicle Books, 2000)

  • Shape Hunt Chant

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Here's What To Do

  1. Before beginning this activity, create several shapes to use as examples. Depending on the age and grade level of the child, you may cut out your own simple, two-dimensional shapes (such as a square, circle, triangle, rectangle) or you may choose to use empty containers to represent three-dimensional shapes (such as a cylinder, cube, rectangular prism, or triangular prism). A few ideas to consider include

    • Having the child help you make and label the shapes if you think that he or she knows what they are and would enjoy the review.

    • Covering any containers you use with plain paper so that the child can focus on the shape as opposed to its contents (that is, a cylinder as opposed to an oatmeal container).

    • Using more "unusual" two-dimensional shapes such as ovals, trapezoids, or different kinds of triangles. This can offer a chance to compare and talk about different shapes (for example, how is an oval different from a circle?). For examples and definitions of both two- and three-dimensional shapes, please see Helpful Information About Geometric Shapes and Solids.
  2. Share a book about shapes. Some good examples include The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns, Round Trip by Ann Jonas, Eight Hands Round by Ann Whitford Paul, and Round Is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong, though you may substitute any of your favorite shape-related books. After reading first for pleasure, go through the book again, pointing to and talking about the various shapes illustrated on each page.

  3. Introduce the concept that shapes are found not only on the pages of these books, but all around us. If you are indoors, encourage the child to look around the room. What shape is the clock? The table? The mirror? Point out that the book you just read is itself a shape! If you are outside, notice the shapes that occur in nature. What shapes can be seen in the flowers and trees? How about the moon? And finally look for shapes in familiar things, like the outside of the house or the family car. What shape is the front door? The roof? The tire? The steering wheel?

  4. Prepare for your hunt by singing the Shape Hunt Chant, a silly song that lets children know what shapes they’re going to be searching for. Repeat the chant for each shape, holding up the example you’ve prepared for the child’s reference. Invite the child to take part by pausing after the line “Do you see a…?” Then hold up a shape and let the child call out its name.

  5. Now you’re ready to become shape hunters! As you sing the shape hunt chant, explore the world around you, letting the child take the lead. When you reach the line that says, "Do you see a circle?" ask the child to find and point to a circle in the environment. Do the same with each new shape that you have introduced. From bicycle wheels to pizza slices, you’ll be amazed at how many shapes a child can find!

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More Ideas To Try

  • Make a list of all the different objects the child finds for each shape, then discuss your findings. Were there more circles or triangles? Were there more squares or rectangles?

  • Visit the Colors and Shapes page on the Number Nut website to play shape-related games.

 

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Glossary

Think critically

 

To think both logically and creatively about a topic using different kinds of information. When people think critically, they not only attend to new words and ideas, but they also connect these words and ideas with the things they already know.

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