- Review what they already know about space shapes
- Create multiple space shapes with tangible materials
- Recall the characteristics of the shapes that they created
- Completed chart from previous lesson
- Crayola Model Magic or any clay (I like to use Model Magic because it dries fast and holds really well.)
- Popsicle sticks
- Describe Your Shape (PDF)
Set Up and Prepare
- Create a space shape ahead of time to use as an example.
- Photocopy Describe Your Shape (PDF). You can copy one or two for each student, but note that it is a half sheet reproducible (you make two with one copy).
DirectionsStep 1: Gather the students on the carpet or in a group area. Review what they learned previously about space shapes. Be sure to mention the observations they made about the faces and corners of each shape.
Step 2: Explain that they will be making their own space shapes today using Model Magic, toothpicks, and popsicle sticks. Hold up your model of a space shape.
Step 3: Describe your thinking: "I chose to make a pyramid, so I looked at the chart and remembered that I will need eight edges and five corners. That means I will need eight toothpicks and five small balls of clay to use as corners. I assembled my pyramid slowly and checked that I had four triangle faces and one square face when I was finished." Ask for any questions at this point.
Step 4: Continue by explaining to the students that they will be filling out a form that describes the characteristics of their space shape. Display a half sheet filled out for a pyramid.
Step 5: Monitor any questions. The shapes they cannot create with these materials are the sphere, cone, and cylinder because they have circular faces (the shapes turn into hexagonal prisms if you try). You can choose to introduce the hexagonal and octagonal prism as alternate choices.
Step 6: Allow students to return to their desks and distribute the Model Magic and sticks. Allow students to work independently making one or two shapes.
Step 7: When they complete each shape they should fill out the reproducible Describe Your Shape (PDF). At the end of the lesson, go around the room to share the students' creations.
Supporting All LearnersAgain, this type of hands-on activity really allows kinesthetic learners to succeed at mastering the concept. The students love working with the Model Magic and really get into the project. For higher level learners, be sure to introduce hexagonal and octagonal prisms. For lower level learners, stick to the pyramid or the cube for better understanding.
Home ConnectionContinue the discussion from the previous lesson about shapes in their world. Ask students to bring in objects from home that are space shapes. This will create the Space Shape Museum discussed in Lesson 3.
AssignmentsParticipate in Model Magic shape creation.
- What went well?
- What didn't?
- Did all students succeed at making a space shape independently?
- What areas, if any, caused confusion?
- How could you change the lesson to better suite the needs of your class?
- Were your materials managed well?
- Monitor the class as they create their shapes and fill in their reproducibles.
- Ask and monitor for understanding during group discussions.