The math in this activity is not too challenging but it requires the students to be precise in their data collection to see good results. It meets the goals of the CCSS for 6th grade math that students "Attend to precision" and "look for and make use of structure". Gifted students might be interested in the information about the Buffon Needle Problem, link found in the "Tips" section. To extend the lesson students could consider what changes could be made to the lesson to improve the accuracy of its approximation of pi.
Fractions with color tiles. Allows students to record their findings on graph paper. Make a game of it by trading papers, and allowing the other student to attempt to build the other student's fraction bar without peeking at the answer.
I made a copy of this activity. It's simple yet effective (and I have a set of colored plastic tiles that I only use when discussing area, so this is a great additional use for them.)
This activity can be used by younger grades by decreasing the amount of shapes used.
To make the activity harder for students have them draw their own shapes using a ruler, compass, and/or protracter. Students could also find the angle measurements of the shapes.
For students who need more help divide the shapes into their own categories so all the students will have to do is paste the shapes onto the page in their seperate categories. Students could also work in groups or pairs.
The purpose of this lesson is to help students mentally organize 19 shape names. The lesson is basically a reinforcing lesson-it should not be taught until after students have had some exposure to most of the shape names mentioned in this lesson.
Differentiation: students will need to have premade graphs for some with pictures (vs. being able to read "flat" or "solid".) Allow students to graph their findings.
Even though this activity is mainly for 3rd and 4th grades it can be changed to work with every grade level K-6. For older grades you could change the activity to include a wider variety of shapes/concepts. For younger students you could use basic shapes and have them create a picture with them without writing the words.
This activity could be linked to writing. Students could create a picture with their shapes and then write a story about their picture. You would be connecting langauge arts with math.
For ELLs put them with a native English speaker and have the ELL make the picture but have the native English speaker write the words or story for the picture.
CCS:3.G.1 Great for learning the name of shapes. You can also incorporae following directions if you give tem steps to follow in making their creatures. You can also allow the stdents to be the leader in giving out directions to make the creatures.
Students who are more advanced can write down the name of the shape they made. When blowing bubbles the students could also count how many bubbles they were able to make with each shape and write that number down.
ELL students could practice just making the shapes with pipe cleaners.
Students who are farther behind could work with other students in creating different shapes, but after that they could blow their own bubbles outside.
The students could also skip the bubble blowing and just create shapes with pipe cleaners and glue these on paper to create a pipe cleaner shape display.
Older students could also do this activity with more advanced shapes.
There's nothing like a treasure hunt to get kids excited. The good news is that all that pirate booty can be used to boost their math skills. Here's how to work the numbers as they sort their loot.
To connect this to social studies, have students find pictures of real world castles and report on location and history of the building to base their model off of.
4.G.3 "Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry."
This activity can be modified for gifted students by challenging them with more cards. Encourage them to use as many cards as they would like while participating in this activity! This activity can be used with younger ages by using objects other than cards. A big picture cut into pieces would help the students visualize symmetry, as it would be more like putting a puzzle together. The leader just gets to choose in what order the puzzle is assembled! Both players could check their work by knowing if the picture looks right.
A pair of students work together for this symmetry activity. The students sit across from one another, with playing cards dealt for each student. A ruler or other dividing line separates one student's side from the other. One player starts as the leader, and places one of their cards down on the table. The player on the other side of the line follows the leader in an attempt to match the first player's moves perfectly on their side of the divider.
K.G.2 "Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size."
This activity can be modified for ELL students by having them draw a picture of the shapes they see in their food, rather than writing the word on the graph. The gifted students can be challenged by having them give examples of other things they see in their every day lives that are shapes, not just food. This activity can be used for the older ages by having them identify different angles or more complex shapes, such as parallelograms.
4.G.2 "Classify two-dimensional figures based on the presence or absence of parallel or perpendicular lines, or the presence or absence of angles of a specified size. Recognize right triangles as a category, and identify right triangles."
This activity can be modified for ELL students, gifted students, etc. by using fewer shapes, as well as shapes that are easier to identify. In the other sense, it can be modified to include more shapes that are more difficult to identify. This activity could also be used in other subject areas, such as science. It could be used to identify different classifications of plants and animals. It could also be used in foreign language. The students could read a vocabulary word in the foreign language, and then have to say the correct vocabulary work in English.
Children make a game board displaying different shapes they should know (polygon, quadrilateral, parallelogram, etc.). Each child roles the die and moves that number of spaces. If that player can correctly identify the shape in their space, they roll again. The first one to the end and back wins!
you can adapt this activity in many ways. You could just have children build shapes with the pices or you could give them tangram mats to build specific shapes.
you can extend this lesson for 5th and 6th grade to help work on reasoning and logical thinking by setting up a 3 circle venn diagram and giving the students cards and the oponent has to guess the puzzle of which shapes belong in which circle based on their attributes.
I like this symmetry lesson, especially the part when students will switch desks and do the other half of their neighbors design. This concept also leads well into Art (butterflies) and literature. This lesson could be for any grade just by changing the object they use for symmetry.
I would read a book about shapes first as part of the discussion on shapes. I like in the end when the students come back and tally their results. You could also do a bar graph with the tally marks.
To help make conncetions, show children "real world" examples of a torus before you begin the lesson. For example, familiar tools, shapes in nature or buildings.
Adjusting the vocabulary that is required allows a teacher to differentiate this activity. After completing the dictionary in addition to studying at home students can quiz each other for review in a co-op structure such as "Quiz-Quiz-Trade".
you could adapt this game by selecting easier levels for students who need differeniation, and higher levels for advanced students.
Grade 3
Sugar Sugar is a cool geometry game. Sugar
pours out from a place near the top of the screen, and your goal is to make the
sugar fall into the correct cups. You do this by drawing on the screen with the
mouse, and watching as sprinkles of sugar trickle down the lines you draw.
Challenging and fun! Good for grades 3 to 12