Tips for teaching Kindergarten Shapes
Successfully teaching students about kindergarten shapes can be tricky. There are many great strategies you can utilize to help your students learn about shapes. The two most important things when teaching your students is to make it fun and interactive, and be able to keep their attention.
Introducing Shapes through Music
One of the most engaging activities for kindergarten is teaching them through music. Songs help students remember the shape name while having fun at the same time.
This song by Jack Hartmann helps introduce students to 2D shapes.
For an in-depth introduction song check out this Rocking Dan Teaching Man song. It even helps your students learn how to count.
This song is great to teach 3D shapes to kindergartners.
You can also check out this song from Greenbrier Middle School to introduce 3D shapes to your students.
If you need tips on how to teach about attributes – watch my video below!
Learn the Names of the Shapes
It is a good idea to have shape posters on the wall in your classroom. Students will see the name and shape so that they can use it in their writing. You can also encourage the use of flashcards for each shape while playing the shape songs.
Learning Shape Attributes
Different grades go into different depths of teaching, for kindergarten shapes students will learn the name and attributes. After teaching the shape name, the next step is to teach the shape attributes. 2D shapes have a side and vertex and 3D shapes have a face, edge, and corner.
For 2-D shapes, students need to learn:
- A circle has no side, no vertices
- A square has four equal sides and 4 vertices
- A triangle has three sides, three vertices
- A rectangle has two short sides and two long sides, and 4 vertices
- A rhombus, has four equal sides and vertices but the vertices are NOT equal
- A hexagon, has 6 sides and 6 vertices
For 3-D shapes, students to need to learn:
- A sphere has a circle for a face
- A cube’s face is a square
- A pyramid has triangles for its faces
- A cylinder, has 3 faces 2 circular and 1 curved face
- A cone, has a circle face
Look for Shapes in The Environment
Students’ everyday environment is a great place that they can start looking to identify shapes! For example, you can also show them a door and ask them the shapes they see. You can start by showing them how a door is a rectangle but once they have been introduced to 3D shapes you can revisit the rectangular door and talk about how it is a rectangular prism.
The question you can pose to your students is to go around the house or classroom and identify 10 geometric shapes. If you are teaching remotely this is a fun activity they can do in the house, just give them a shape and have them hunt around their house to show it to the other zoom students.
Draw the Shapes
Show students how to draw each shape as you discuss their attributes. You can even introduce using a ruler or straight edge so students can practice making straight lines.
Combining Shapes to Make New Shapes
Notice that 3D shapes are made out of 2D shapes. For example, you can have students ponder questions like “What happens if you combine six squares?” or “What kind of shapes can you use to make a pyramid?” That way, they can flex their problem-solving skills while playing with each shape.
Creating Shape Collages
To flex more creative muscles, you can have your students make artwork based on the shapes they have learned. Whether it is letting them draw objects in real-life using 2D shapes or using clay to make a group of 3D shapes, the objective of this activity is to let them explore the shapes they have learned.
Have students keep a shape journal! Students can draw and write down in a notebook all the objects they see for a certain shape in their daily lives. For example, you can ask your students to think of and draw an item that looks like an oval on Monday, a square on Tuesday, etc.
Having students play around with the shapes to see how they fit together and work together is also a great exercise. In my 2-D shapes packet students work on playing shapes to create a hexagon and a triangle.
Or you can purchase cards that have a shape and allow students to explore the shapes. It is a great way for students to practice hand eye coordination and also helps train their eye to see shapes within shapes.
Learning shapes with kinders is fun because their eyes are so fresh to the world around them! I hope that these tips will help your students explore their world around them.
If you are looking for a set of exploration activities for 2D shapes take a look at this packet. If you want to have a fall season themed activity, check this acorn-themed shapes activity with a google slides component.
How else did you teach your students shapes? Comment them down below!
To prepare the mats, print on cardstock and laminate.
Students will create the shapes using play dough and use a vis a vis marker to trace the letters.
If you are working on tracing letters and need customized name worksheets make sure to check out my name generator.
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