In Classroom Resources, Measurement and Geometry, Shape

The focus of this activity is to discover what students know shapes, including their features and properties. What language are students using to describe and sort shapes? How can we as teachers help students increase their shape vocabulary?


  • Use materials to create 2D shapes
  • Identify 2D shapes and 3D objects
  • Use everyday language to describe features of shapes
  • Sort 2D shapes and 3D objects
  • Justify reason for classifying different shapes


Curriculum Connections
EARLY STAGE 1 – Two-Dimensional Space

Sort, describe and name familiar two-dimensional shapes in the environment (ACMMG009)

  • identify, represent and name circles, triangles, squares and rectangles presented in different orientations, e.g. 
  • identify circles, triangles, squares and rectangles in pictures and the environment, including in Aboriginal art (Problem Solving)
  • ask and respond to questions that help identify a particular shape (Communicating, Problem Solving)
  • sort two-dimensional shapes according to features such as size and shape
  • recognise and explain how a group of two-dimensional shapes has been sorted (Communicating, Reasoning)
  • manipulate circles, triangles, squares and rectangles, and describe their features using everyday language, e.g. ‘A square has four sides’
  • turn two-dimensional shapes to fit into or match a given space (Problem Solving)
  • make representations of two-dimensional shapes using a variety of materials, including paint, paper, body movements and computer drawing tools
  • make pictures and designs using a selection of shapes, e.g. make a house from a square and a triangle (Communicating)
  • draw a two-dimensional shape by tracing around one face of a three-dimensional object
  • identify and draw straight and curved lines
  • compare and describe closed shapes and open lines
  • draw closed two-dimensional shapes without tracing
  • recognise and explain the importance of closing the shape when drawing a shape (Communicating, Reasoning)
EARLY STAGE 1 – Three-Dimensional Space

Sort, describe and name familiar three-dimensional objects in the environment (ACMMG009)

  • describe the features of familiar three-dimensional objects, such as local landmarks including Aboriginal landmarks, using everyday language, e.g. flat, round, curved
  • describe the difference between three-dimensional objects and two-dimensional shapes using everyday language (Communicating)
  • sort three-dimensional objects and explain the attributes used to sort them, e.g. colour, size, shape, function
  • recognise how a group of objects has been sorted, e.g. ‘These objects are all pointy’ (Communicating, Reasoning)
  • recognise and use informal names for three-dimensional objects, e.g. box, ball
  • manipulate and describe a variety of objects found in the environment
  • manipulate and describe an object hidden from view using everyday language, e.g. describe an object hidden in a ‘mystery bag’ (Communicating)
  • predict and describe the movement of objects, e.g. ‘This will roll because it is round’
  • use a plank or board to determine which objects roll and which objects slide (Problem Solving)
  • make models using a variety of three-dimensional objects and describe the models, e.g. ‘I made a model of a person using a ball and some blocks’
  • predict the building and stacking capabilities of various three-dimensional objects (Reasoning)


At the end of this lesson students should be able to answer the following questions
  • What shape have you made?
  • How do you know?
  • Can you make any other shapes?
  • What shapes have you chosen?
  • Which shape doesn’t belong?
  • Is there another way to sort the shapes?
  • Can we use something other than colour (size, material, features, properties, etc.)
  • What are some of the features of shapes?
  • What are the different properties of shapes?
  • Does turning the shape change it?


For more information, please download the attached lesson plan.

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