Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Original Lesson 16: Shape Hunt, Shingo and Place those Shapes

I ran this unit on 3D shapes in a 5/6 class and the students thoroughly enjoyed its inclusion of kinaesthetic tasks and real-life relevance. These are the outlines of the first three activities I taught.

Shape Hunt

At my school, we were fortunate to have some brilliant resources on 3D shapes, including containers full of models and fold-out nets. If you don't have these sorts of resources, this unit can still be run just the same but I would run some of the activities in the next post first, so that the students create resources to use for the unit.

I found that this Shape Hunt was a great way to start the unit. First, I asked students to draw 2D shapes on the board and explained that the vast majority of 3D shapes are simply a combination of the 2D shapes that they learnt in prep or grade one, or even kindergarten. I explained the definitions of faces, vertices and edges. In doing so, I referred to vertices as "a very tricky way to say corners", and edges as "a line, or the place where two faces meet". Particularly useful for my demonstrations were this site and this site which allow you to project onto the interactive whiteboard, in large zooming, the faces, vertices and edges of common 3D shapes. I also explained that when a simple 2D shape is connected using rectangles it is often called a "...gonal prism", whereas when a 2D shape is at the base of some connected triangles it is often called a "....gonal pyramid."

I hid 3D shapes all around the room beside small pieces of paper with a number on them, and handed out the below Shape Hunt sheet.

Students roamed the room, drawing the shapes, brainstorming examples of the shape in real-life and counting its faces, vertices and edges. Students were told to leave blank anything that they could not figure out, particularly in naming the shapes next to their drawing of them. Towards the end of the activity, I asked students students to think about the relationship between the numbers of faces, vertices and edges. After a few minutes of thinking and roaming the room scaffolding students' thinking, we discussed potential options and came close to the official formula:

Faces + Vertices - Edges = 2

I invited them to check their answers accordingly and check that the formula worked in all circumstances. We then discussed this as a whole at the conclusion of the lesson.

Shingo, otherwise known as Shape Bingo

I must credit a fellow pre-service teacher with this idea as it was entirely hers, so thanks to Tash for this brilliant engaging activity during which student enthusiasm was very high. You place 3D and 2D shapes in a bag and one student at a time volunteers to pick out a shape and answer questions from the audience. When someone thinks they know what it is, they put up their hand and, when called upon, yell "Shingo" and their answer. Another way this could be played is by asking students to draw a set number of 3D shapes in their notebooks and cross out each as it is described to them by the volunteer up the front.

Common questions included:
  • Whether the shape was 2 or 3D
  • Number of vertices, faces, edges
  • Real-life examples of the shape
  • Types of 2D shapes that comprise the faces of the 3D shape, and so on

If the class is struggling or you fear they may struggle, you could project a scanned image of the answers to the Shape Hunt. However, I would advise against projecting this during the whole activity as it makes it far too easy for most students.

Place those Shapes

Students progressed to the open learning area in small groups with a range of 3D shapes in hand. Sitting in their groups, they were instructed to order from least to most the shapes in terms of their number of faces. Then their number of vertices. Then their number of edges. This was a great way for students to revise faces, vertices and edges from the previous lesson (Shape Hunt) and to also discuss the relationship between these numbers as often the order of the shapes from one category to the other varied very little.

More original shapes activities will be posted soon! Did you have any feedback on these?

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