School Improvement in Maryland

Gr. PK Unit: Work with 3-Dimensional Shapes to Gain Foundations for Geometric Thinking

Unit Overview

In this unit, students broaden their work with two-dimensional shapes to include the understanding of three-dimensional shapes and their attributes. In Prekindergarten through Grade 3, students are learning to reason with and construct two- and three-dimensional shapes based on their attributes. This work encompasses three areas of focus:

  • Geometric shapes, their components (e.g., sides, angles, faces), their properties (e.g., those attributes that indicate a relationship between components of shapes; i.e., ‘having parallel sides’ or ‘having all sides of equal lengths’ are properties) and their categorization based on those properties.
  • Composing and decomposing geometric shapes.
  • Spatial relations and spatial structuring.

In Prekindergarten, students match and sort three-dimensional shapes, including spheres, cubes, cylinders, and cones. Although the names of these three-dimensional shapes should be introduced, students are not expected to name them until Kindergarten. Students will describe these shapes using attributes such as size, shape, corners, edges, faces, and/or similarities to other shapes. Students will use three-dimensional shapes to construct structures and be able to describe the shapes included in their structures and the relative position.

Essential Questions:

  • How do geometric models describe spatial relationships?
  • How are geometric shapes and objects classified?
  • Where in the real world can I find three-dimensional shapes?
  • How can objects be represented and compared using geometric attributes?
  • How can I put three-dimensional shapes together and take them apart to form other three-dimensional shapes?
  • How can I identify and describe solid figures?
  • How can I compare and contrast two- and three-dimensional shapes?

A question is essential when it stimulates multi-layered inquiry, provokes deep thought and lively discussion, requires students to consider alternatives and justify their reasoning, encourges re-thinking of big ideas, makes meaningful connections with prior learning, and provides students with opportunities to apply problem-solving skills to authentic situations.

Unit Lesson

Additional information such as Teachers Notes, Enduring Understandings,Content Emphasis by Cluster, Focus Standards, Possible Student Outcomes, Essential Skills and Knowledge Statements and Clarifications, and Interdisciplinary Connections can be found in this Lesson Unit.

Available Model Lesson Plans

The lesson plan(s) have been written with specific standards in mind. Each model lesson plan is only a MODEL - one way the lesson could be developed. We have NOT included any references to the timing associated with delivering this model. Each teacher will need to make decisions related ot the timing of the lesson plan based on the learning needs of students in the class. The model lesson plans are designed to generate evidence of student understanding.

This chart indicates one or more lesson plans which have been developed for this unit. Lesson plans are being written and posted on the Curriculum Management System as they are completed. Please check back periodically for additional postings.

CCSC Alignment: PK.G.B.3-4

Students sort three-dimensional shapes into groups and explain their sorting based on attributes of the shapes. Students build structures using three-dimensional shapes and describe the shapes used.

Available Model Lesson Seeds

The lesson seed(s) have been written with specific standards in mind. These suggested activity/activities are not intended to be prescriptive, exhaustive, or sequential; they simply demonstrate how specific content can be used to help students learn the skills described in the standards. Seeds are designed to give teachers ideas for developing their own activities in order to generate evidence of student understanding.

This chart indicates one or more lesson seeds which have been developed for this unit. Lesson seeds are being written and posted on the Curriculum Management System as they are completed. Please check back periodically for additional postings.

CCSC Alignnment: PK.G.B.4

Given a bag with a three-dimensional shape in it, a student reaches in, feels the shape, and then describes the shape without looking in the bag. The class tries to guess which three-dimensional shape it is.