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.
This lesson plan includes activities and discussion questions in the following subject ares: Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies.
- Round Is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong
- Chart paper
- Markers and crayons
- Drawing paper
- Old magazines or catalogs for cutting
- Child-safe scissors
- Circle, square, and rectangular paper shapes or die-cuts in a variety of sizes and colors
- Construction paper in various colors, one sheet per student
- Crayons and markers
Set Up and Prepare
- 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?
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
Step 1: Read the story Round Is a Mooncake aloud to the class.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: Explain to students 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 that they will do activities in school, outdoors, and at home.
Step 1: 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."
Step 2: 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 "Book."
Step 3: Ask students to look around the classroom and describe round things that they see. Record their responses in the "Classroom" column.
Step 4: Plan a neighborhood walk or trip to the playground to find round shapes that are located outdoors. Bring along a sheet of paper and a clipboard to record student observations.
Step 5: When you are back in the classroom, add students' outdoor findings to the classroom list under "Outdoors." Review all three lists when completed.
Step 6: Provide students with drawing materials to draw and write about round objects they have listed.
Step 7: Begin the classroom display with students' round object drawings.
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.
When students return to the classroom, 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.
Step 1: 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?"
Step 2: Ask students 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.
Step 3: Invite small groups to the art area to create collages of things that are square. Provide the groups with the construction paper, old magazines, child-safe scissors, and glue. Ask students to cut out pictures of things that are square and create a square collage.
Step 4: When students are finished creating their collages, assist them in labeling their objects.
Step 5: Invite students to share and compare their 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.
The next day, 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?
Step 1: Read the last section of the book, ending with the question "Can you name another one?".
Step 2: 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. Ask them if they can think of sports or games that use rectangular shapes, i.e. football field, swimming pool, or bowling alley? Record their answers on the chart paper.
Step 3: Provide the children with drawing materials. Tell them that you would like them to create a drawing about something rectangular.
Step 4: Assist students in writing or dictating information about their drawings.
Step 5: Ask students 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 the "Can you name another one?" 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?
Step 1: Explain that the students will be creating pictures using the three shapes that were depicted in the book.
Step 2: Provide the cut-out or die-cut shapes and other suggested art materials. Encourage students to use crayons and markers to include drawn elements in their picture.
Step 3: Ask each student to write or dictate information about their work.
Step 4: Display students' 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
Teaching plan written by Risa Young.