Literature Connection:

Ovals, Rectangles, Squares, and Triangles by Jennifer S. Burke

Mathematical Strand:



Students will identify geometrical shapes displayed in photographs of everyday objects in a metropolitan setting

Grade level:


Lesson created by:

Marla Schmidt, Lee Elementary School, Manhattan, KS

Lesson Description:


The book Ovals, Rectangles, Squares, Triangles by Jennifer S. Burke, concrete examples of real life geometric objects, index cards, rulers, and pencils.

1. Launch the lesson---Engage. Read the books together as a class. Highlight the important shapes identified in the various photographs. Discuss the correct terminology for related geometric figures. Include terms for combining, subdividing and changing shapes. Allow students to share examples of shapes they have seen in their everyday environments. List their responses on the chalkboard or overhead projector. One category or designated shape at a time is preferable to distinguish specific characteristics.

2. Developing the lesson -- As a class, continue to brainstorm a list of geometric figures and terms that can represent with a basic sketch or drawing. List these on the chalkboard or overhead. Terms may include some of the following: oval, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, right angle, obtuse angle, acute angle, rhombus, diameter, perpendicular lines, etc.

3. Place students in cooperative groups and assign each group the making of a set of geometry cards. Two cards will compose a set. One card will show the picture or drawing of the object; the other card, the term itself (matching card). Clarify to students that one card is " math language" or word only; the other card, the picture representation.

4. When cards are complete, one person in the group mixes them up and places them face down on a desk or table in rows. The game is played like the familiar "Concentration". One player at a time turns over two cards; one after the other. The object of the game is to match "term" to "drawing". If a match is made, that player continues for another turn. If the cards do not match, they are turned back over and another player tries to find a match. The game is concluded when all cards have been matched correctly.

5. Closure---Students may continue with other math "terms" to help develop comprehension of math symbols and correct word usage. Ask the students for feedback on playing the game. Is the match itself---term to picture—more difficult in comparison to remembering the correct location of the needed cards to make a match. Likewise, a "Jeopardy" game can be created using application of knowledge and/or concepts where form "questions" to specific "answers". Categories may be two-dimensional shapes, three-dimensional shapes, etc.

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Copyright 2001 S.Ma.R.T.Books and Kansas State University