Round Is a Mooncake Lesson Plan
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
About this book
Subject Area: Math, Language Arts, Social Studies
This concept book with rhyming text and multicultural focus teaches children about circles, shapes, and rectangles as seen through the eyes of a Chinese girl. The last page of the book describes some of the Chinese objects depicted in the book.
Children will expand their understanding of shapes and multicultural concepts as they engage in a series of daily activities to learn about shapes that are found in their school, homes, and community.
Show the children the book Round Is a Mooncake. Explain to them that the story is about shapes that are found in the home of a Chinese girl. Some of the shapes represent things that many Chinese families have in their homes. Some of the items are also found in many homes in general.
Teaching Plan: Shapes in Our Lives
- Chart paper
- Markers and crayons
- Drawing paper
- Old magazines or catalogs for cutting
- Child safety scissors
In advance: Prepare three separate sheets of chart paper with the following headings:
- What other round things do you see?
- I can name more square things, can you?
- Can you name another one?
1. Read the story Round Is a Mooncake. Invite students to name the three different shapes that were introduced in the book. Ask the children to recall some of the objects that were round, square, and rectangular. Utilize the last page of the book to provide descriptions about items depicted in the book. Invite children to share what they also know about these items.
2. Explain to that they will engage in activities to learn more about circles, squares, and rectangles. Tell them that they will focus on a different shape each day and they will do activities in school, outdoors, and at home.
Exploring Round Shapes:
On the sheet of prepared chart paper with the question "What other round things do you see?" create three columns with the following headings: "Book," "Classroom," and "Outdoors."
Reread the first section of the book that focuses on round shapes. Show the illustration at the end of the section. Invite students to name all of the additional round items that they see. Record the children's responses under the heading for the book. Ask them to look around the classroom and describe round things that they see. Record their responses. Plan a neighborhood walk or trip to the playground to find round shapes that are found outdoors. Bring along a sheet of paper to record their observations. Add their findings to the classroom list. Review all three lists when completed. Provide them with drawing materials to draw and write about round objects they have listed. Display their work
Send a note home to families explaining that the children have been learning about circles, squares, and rectangles. Tell parents that the students have been asked to draw pictures of round objects that are found in their homes. Request that parents encourage their young ones to draw their pictures by themselves. Parents can assist with writing the names of the round shapes they have drawn. Provide the children with drawing paper to complete their take-home activity. Invite them to share their drawings during meeting time. Compare differences and similarities. Compare round items found in their homes with round items found in the book.
Read the next section of the book that focuses on square shapes. Show the children the prepared chart paper with the question "I can name more square things, can you?" Ask them to walk around the room and find objects that are square. Encourage each child to show or describe the square item he or she has found. List the names of the square things on the chart paper. Next invite small groups to the art area to create collages of things that are square. Provide the groups with construction paper, old magazines, child safety scissors, and glue. Ask them to cut out pictures of things that are square and create a square collage. Assist the children in labeling their objects when finished. Invite sharing and comparing collages.
Provide the children with a sheet of drawing paper. Send a note home to families explaining that the student will draw or write about one of the following: something that they eat that is square or something very special in their home that is square. Request that the parents offer assistance, if needed. Encourage the children to share their take-home activity during meeting time. Engage them in a discussion about differences and similarities. Did any of the children have similar items in their home that were depicted in the book?
Read the last section of the book, ending with the question "Can you name another one?" Show students the chart paper with the same question. Invite the class to think of other things that are rectangular. Encourage them to look in the classroom, out the window, or in books and magazines. Can they think of sports or games that use rectangular shapes, i.e. football field, swimming pool, or bowling alley? Provide the children with drawing materials. Tell them that you would like them to create a drawing about something rectangular. Assist students in writing or dictating information about their drawings. Ask them to share their finished work during group time.
Send a note to parents asking families to take their children on a walk and create a list of all of the different things that they observe that are rectangular. Invite students to share their lists during group time. On a sheet of chart paper create a list of the different types of rectangular things children found. Keep a tally of items that were found by more than one child. Were there any items that many listed? What things were the most unique? Did they find rectangular objects that were depicted in the book?
Circles, Squares, and Rectangles
- Cut-out paper shapes: circles, squares, rectangles in a variety of sizes and colors
- Construction paper
- Crayons and markers
Explain that they will create pictures using the three shapes that were depicted in the book. Provide the suggested art materials. They can use crayons and markers to include drawing elements in their picture. Encourage them to write or dictate information about their work. Display their work with all their other shape investigations.
- Reread the book Round Is a Mooncake. Invite the children to share what they learned about shapes in their school, community, and homes. Were there similarities between the little girl in the book and themselves? Record their responses to create a summary for the shape investigation.
- Invite children, family members, colleagues, or an informed speaker — someone who celebrates the Chinese mid-autumn Moon Festival — to share information about the holiday or about items depicted in the book with your class. Compare autumn festivals that other cultures celebrate. Discuss special foods or activities that are associated with these festivals.
Other Books About Shapes
Triangle Square Circle
by William Wegman
Fun photographs of Wegman's famous dogs introduce young readers to a variety of geometric shapes.
Shapes for Lunch
by Melinda Lily
Entertaining rhyming book that depicts an army of ants that eats through a variety of picnic foods. Each food represents a different geometric shape.
by Kevin Henkes
This lively story about two circle dogs that live in a big square house teaches children about the concepts of shapes and colors.
Other Books by Roseanne Thong
Red Is a Dragon
Teaching plan written by Risa Young