This activity will help develop student's knowledge of shapes and their properties.
Main Curriculum Tie:
Mathematics - 4th Grade
Standard 3 Objective 1
Identify and describe attributes of two-dimensional geometric shapes.
For each student:
- Developing Geometric Thinking Through Activities That Begin with
Play, by Piere M. van Hiele, Teaching Children Mathematics,
NCTM, February, 1999, pp. 310-316.
Background For Teachers:
"The most important connections for early mathematics development
is between the intuitive, informal mathematics that students have learned
through their own experiences and the mathematics they are learning in
school. All other connections...are supported by the link between the
studentsí informal experiences and more formal mathematics." (Principals and Standards for School Mathematics, NCTM, p. 132).
The following activity is taken from Developing Geometric Thinking
Through Activities That Begin with Play, by Pierre M. van Hiele,
Teaching Children Mathematics, NCTM, February, 1999, pp. 310-316.
This activity can enrich the studentsí store of visual structures. It will
help develop a knowledge of shapes and their properties. Throughout
this activity the teacher directs studentsí attention to geometric shapes
and terminology, and engages students in problem solving discussions
using these terms. Remember, geometry begins with play.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
1. Demonstrate a positive learning attitude toward mathematics.
2. Become mathematical problem solvers.
3. Reason mathematically.
4. Communicate mathematically.
Invitation to Learn
Provide each student with a Seven Piece Mosaic Puzzle.
Begin by asking, “What can we do with these pieces?” As students begin
to explore, have them share and talk about what they have built. They
may use all the pieces or only a few. “Children need ample time to
explore and share their creations. Such play gives teachers a chance to
observe how children use the pieces and to assess informally how they
think and talk about pieces.” (Van Hiele, p. 312)
- Ask students to sort geometric shapes from the Seven Piece
Mosaic Puzzle and discuss how they sorted them.
- Have them explore all the possible ways to make the Parallelogram.
The students may slide, flip, turn (rotate) their pieces.
What two-piece combinations are possible?
Ask the students which pieces were not used?
- Have students choose any two pieces, set the others to one side,
and see how many different shapes can be made by joining them
at the sides that match. Try pieces five and six.
- Ask what pieces can be made from two others? Which ones
Challenge: Find the one piece that can be made from three others.
Solutions can be recorded by tracing around the larger pieces and
then draw how the larger shape was made with the other pieces.
- Can students make the Parallelogram with three pieces?
- Have students make a short house and trace around it. Can they
make the shape with two other pieces? Three pieces? Four
pieces? Can they create a tall house with two pieces? Three
pieces? (Remember: Touching edges have to be the same length.)
- Each student creates his/her own puzzle using two, three, or four
pieces; trace around the shape. Can students make this shape with
other pieces? Write his/her name and a title for the shape.
Have family members try to cover the parallelogram, houses, and
new puzzle pieces created by the student with the geometric
shapes from the Seven Piece Mosaic Puzzle used in class. They
may also create new shapes for the student to try to cover in a
variety of ways.
- Observe students as they create their puzzles. What strategies do
- Provide opportunities for students to share their strategies for
- Have students record their findings in a journal.
- After students trace the shape they made, have them go back and
draw the two or three shapes they used to make the shape.
Created Date :
Oct 26 2004 08:57 AM