2D and 3D Shape Activities!

November 14, 2016

2D and 3D shape lessons that relate to the Common Core Standards can be hard to find! I made some that were always a hit in my first grade classroom to share with you!


My first grade students LOVE pattern blocks. They find them mesmerizing and I find that they calm even the rowdiest classroom at times! Teaching geometry is one of my favorite units in the classroom because the kids find it to be so much fun!


I thought I would share a few of my favorite 2D and 3D shape activities with you today:


 Block animals:
This is an extension activity we do towards the end of our learning about 2D shapes. Students get to use their creativity to create their very own animal out of pattern blocks and write a little story about their animal as well as tally up how many of each type of pattern block they used.


  Composing Shape Object Cards:
My students use THIS free composing shape activity all the time and the activity shown above is an extension of that. It lets them put together any shapes they please to create the objects on the cards instead of having to be in the constraints of the first activity. I honestly love to use both because they both allow students to practice their spatial reasoning and shape skills.


 Defining vs. Nondefining:
One of the first grade standards is to have students identify the difference between defining attributes and nondefining attributes. Students use these sorting cards for 2D and 3D shapes to practice.


2D Make-a-Shape:
This activity has students using yarn, straws, geoboards, or whatever other material you want to have students compose 2D shapes. There are 2 differentiated spinners. The one above shows the shape so it is easy to copy it, while the other spinner has attributes listed and the student has to make a shape that matches those attributes.


 Shape Cards:
These cards are perfect for kicking off a lesson and having students identify which 2D or 3D shape is shown with the real life object. These create discussions about what shapes we see in the real world. I also like to use these cards to play memory or go fish where students try to match the same shapes.


 Where Are They?
Understanding that shapes of all types are in our real world every day is an important thing for my first graders to learn and understand. These little charts help students identify different places they can see these shapes in the real world.


 Guess My Shape!
This is my favorite 3D shape activity each year! After we learn the attributes of 3D shapes, I hide a different shape in each bag and students must go around silently and feel the shape without looking. They must feel around and decide what 3D figure is inside the bag. They record their guesses and then we all check and confirm at the end!


You can find all these resources and activities in my shape unit [HERE] and if you are looking for a YEAR’S WORTH of math workshop units, activities, centers, games, and detailed lessons you can find that below:


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I'm always on the hunt for new and fun activities to teach 2D and 3D shapes. These games and hands on centers are perfect for kindergarten and first grade. Read all about the activities over on the blog!

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  • Hello, I am trying to access your defining and nondefining shape sort. How would I do that?
    I love it!