Planning GuideGrade 2
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2-D Shapes

Strand: Shape and Space (3-D Objects and 2-D Shapes)
Outcomes: 6, 8

Step 3: Plan for Instruction

Guiding Questions

  • What learning opportunities and experiences should I provide to promote learning of the outcomes and permit students to demonstrate their learning?
  • What teaching strategies and resources should I use?
  • How will I meet the diverse learning needs of my students?

A. Assessing Prior Knowledge and Skills

Ways to Assess and Build on Prior Knowledge  Word

B. Choosing Instructional Strategies

Consider the following general strategies:

  • Structure learning situations in which students use the language they have to describe and compare 2-D shapes. The mathematical terminology can then be given, but the emphasis is on students constructing their analysis, not on how well they can use terminology that they may not completely understand. For example, the students may speak of shapes that are "dented in" or "stick out" and only then should the terms "concave" or "convex" be introduced. Similarly, the terms "vertex" or "vertices" may follow the students' description of "points" or "corners."
  • Through exploration, provide opportunities for the students to generalize the Big Idea that change in orientation does not change the shape.
  • Have the students share their ideas about sorting various sets of 2-D shapes and provide follow-up activities to address any misconceptions that may arise. 
  • Have the students explain their sorting rules.
  • Encourage flexible thinking by having the students sort sets in more than one way.
  • Vary the students' medium by using manipulatives, drawings and computer programs to study 2-D shapes.
  • Vary manipulatives from pattern blocks, attribute blocks, paper shapes and discovery blocks to include geoboards.
  • Give the students lots of opportunities to manipulate 2-D shapes by providing activities with tangrams or other such manipulatives that require changing the orientation of the pieces and using varying pieces to complete a composite shape. Encourage the students to develop their visualization skills in shape and space, as these skills are not innate.
  • Be sure that the triangles students see are not all equilateral or isosceles and that the students see them on paper in a variety of orientations so that the base is not always parallel to the bottom of the page. Likewise, squares need to be seen in a variety of orientations.
  • Students need to have a wider scope of 2-D shapes than just the regular shapes listed in the specific outcome. They need some closed and open figures. They need ones with curves, which are unfortunately limited to circles in most manipulatives sets. They need to see regular and irregular polygons. Even though they do not need to be able to name parallelograms, they should be included in the shapes they see and handle.

C. Choosing Learning Activities

Learning Activities are examples of activities that could be used to develop student understanding of the concepts identified in Step 1.

Sample Learning Activities
What’s My Rule? Download Activities  Word
Sorting 2-D Shapes Download Activities  Word
Recognizing Similar Shapes and Identifying Attributes Download Activities  Word
Creating Models of 2-D Shapes Download Activities  Word
Creating Pictorial Representations of 2-D Shapes Download Activities  Word