Grade: Pre-School
Subject: Mathematics

#1738. Shapes!

Mathematics, level: Pre-School
Posted Thu Apr 27 15:07:41 PDT 2000 by Amanda Chuba (
My Home Page
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA USA
Activity Time: 60 minutes
Concepts Taught: Students will be able to revognize 5 basic shapes


This is one of the first lessons the children will learn on shapes. This lesson focuses on five basic geometric shapes. The lesson will focus on the names for the shapes, as well as each of their characteristics that makes them that shape. The knowledge acquired in this lesson will give the children knowledge of other shapes as well as other defining characteristics. The students have not
discussed shapes in our preschool class, but may have background knowledge from their home life in this area of study.


Following instruction on the five basic shapes, the preschool students will be able to recognize and name each shape with 100 percent accuracy.

More Specifically, the learners will be able to:

draw each shape to the best of their ability
name at least one defining characteristic of each shape
complete a worksheet on the lesson

Lesson Materials:

Each child will receive these shapes made out of colored construction paper:
- 1 yellow circle
- 1 blue square
- 1 red triangle
- 1 green rectangle
- 1 purple star
1 box of round Ritz crackers
1 box of square Saltines
1 bag of Tostitos Nacho Chops
1 bag of Chocolate Wafer Cookies
1 bag of star shaped marshmallows
1 large yellow circle made out of colored construction paper
1 large blue square made out of colored construction paper
1 large red triangle made out of colored construction paper
1 large green rectangle made out of colored construction paper
1 large purple star made out of colored construction paper

Lesson Activities:

1. First, I will ask the students if they know any names of shapes. I will also
inquire about where they see different shapes around their homes or outside. I
will also give examples of my own. (Examples: lights on a traffic light,
television sets, buildings, etc.) 5 minutes

2. I will then say to the class the following: "Today we will be learning about 5
basic shapes- circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and stars. We see these
different shapes everyday, and it is very important for us to recognize these
shapes. We will be counting the sides and corners of each shape. By doing
this, we will be able to identify the shape name." 3 minutes

3. "First, we will learn about circles. Circles are round. Can anyone give me an
example of a circle object in your house? What about in our classroom?
Circles do not have straight edges or corners. (I will then hang the large yellow
circle on the chalkboard) Next we will learn about squares. There are many
squares in our everyday life. Can anyone think of an object that has a square
shape? Squares have four straight sides that are all the same length, or size. (I
will put up the blue square on the chalkboard. Pointing to the shape, I will
explain:) Two sides meet to form corners. There are four corners in every
square. We are in a squared room right now. There are four corners in this
room. Next, we will learn about rectangles. Rectangles are almost like
squares, but their sides are not all the same size. (I will put the green rectangle
on the chalkboard) Next, we will learn about triangles. Triangles have three
sides. (I will hang the red triangle on the board, point to this shape, and say:)
Two sides of a triangle come together to form corners also. How many corners
does a triangle have? Can anyone think of some triangles we see in everyday
life? Finally we will learn about stars. (I will put the purple star on the
board) Stars are made up of small triangles. A star has five corners, and 10
sides. I will then pass out one of each kind of food shape to each child to show
the differences between the 5 basic shapes. 20 minutes

4. When I finish my short discussion on shapes, I will then ask the class if they
have any questions. I will answer and explain any questions or confusion, and
then do a short activity with the class. Each child should have been given three
small, laminated shapes of a yellow circle, blue square, red triangle, green
rectangle, and purple star made of colored construction paper. I will then say
the following: "Class, I am going to ask you questions about the shapes
we learned about today. When you know what shape I am describing, please
hold your shape up high in the air.
- Which shape has three corners?
- Which shape is round?
- Which shape has four sides that are all the same?
- Which shape is made of small triangles?
- Which shape has no straight edges?
- Which shape has five corners?
- Which shape has four sides that look different?
- Which shape has three sides and three corners?
The students may then eat their "shapes" that they were given previously. 7

5. A short and simple ditto will be handed out to the students. Each student
will individually finish and show the teacher the ditto when completed. 15 minutes

6. Finally, I will review the shapes one last time by holding up the larger
shapes to the entire class and have them answer as a group what shape it is that
I am holding up for them to see. 10 minutes

1. Each learner will return a completed work sheet with the drawings of their shapes.

Analysis of the Audience

Demographic Characteristics:

There are fourteen students in the class. Seven of the students are girls and
seven of the students are boys. The ages of the class range from age four to
age five. All of the students live within walking or riding distance of the
school. One member of the class travels from an outside area due to the job his
parents have nearby. This preschool is one of the top-rated in the city, which
outstanding teachers and NAEYC Accredidation.

The town in which the students live is an area set in a suburban neighborhood
in Western Pennsylvania. The students come from upper class families thus
they all have been very well educated at home by their parents, who both work
outside of the home. The majority of the students were born and raised in this
area. Three of the students moved to the area recently, due to better job
opportunities for their parents.

Topic-Specific Characteristics:

As stated earlier, the class is composed of three and four year old children.
Each of these children are in their second year here at this preschool, and have
had the same amount of instruction and learning at school, but different
amounts at home. Each child is above average when it comes to their
academic abilities. Whether or not they know it, the students have all been
learning about shapes their whole lives. They are very well motivated to learn
any particular lesson.

Coming from an upper-class family that takes academics very seriously, these
children are all being pushed to their limits. The kindergarten enterance exam
will be taken at the end of this pre-school year, and each parent wants his/her
child in the local school next year in the kindergarten class.

Being pushed to learn has had a diverse effect on these three and four year old
students. At this early age, these students are giving their best to their studies
as well as trying to live the life of a normal preschool-age child.

Lesson Notes


Name: ______________________

Draw a Cirlce:

Draw a Star:

Draw a Triangle:

Draw a Rectangle:

Draw a Square:


* I came up with this lesson on my own, but I did have a little help from the
following useful

Teacher Stuff (this is where you will also find my lesson plan)
The Lesson Plans Page
Marc's Lesson Plans
Lesson Planz
Lesson Sto