Little Giraffes Teaching Ideas
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Updated 7-28-05

Shape Poems
(source unknown)

I am
Cindy Circle. Watch me turn
Round and round and you will learn
Iím not straight and I donít bend.
My outside edges never end.

Sammy Square is my name.
My four sides are just the same.
Turn me around, I donít care.
Iím always the same. Iím a square!

Tommy Triangle is the name for me.
Count my sides---thereís one, two, three.

Ricky Rectangle is my name.
My four sides are not the same.
Two are short and two are long.
Count my sides. Come along----one, two, three, four.

I am
Danny Diamond.
I am like a kite.
But Iím really just a square
Whose corners are pulled tight.

Opal Oval is my name.
The circle and I are not the same.
The circle is round, as round as can be.
I am shaped like an egg, as you can see.

Harry Heart is my name.
The shape I make is my fame.
With a point on the bottom and two humps on top
When it comes to love I just canít stop.

Shelby Star is my name.
Shining brightly is my game
With five sparkly points and lots of sides, too.
With wishes I make dreams come true.



So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban

Circles, Triangles and Squares by Tana Hoban

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban

Dots, Spots, and Squares by Tana Hoban

Round and Round and Round by Tana Hoban

Circles and Squares Everywhere by Max Grover

Brown Rabbit's Shape Book by Baker

What Is Square? by Dotlich

Shapes in Nature by Feldman

Shapes, Shapes, All Over the Place by Gill

A Fishy Shape Book by Wylie



Circle Song
(tune: "If You're Happy and You Know It")

A circle is a shape that goes round.
A circle is a shape that goes round.
A circle is a shape that goes round,
And round and round.
A circle is a shape that goes round.

Shape Chant


One square, two squares,

This is what we call a pair.
Three rectangles on the floor,
Four triangles, count some more.

Five circles all around.
Here's a star that I have found!
Hexagon I can hop
Octogon means STOP!

And a heart.
Now let's go back to the start.....



Triangle Tricks
by Heather Tekavec

Cut five identical triangles and manipulate them on a flannelboard as you read the following poem.

One little triangle, sitting very still,
A tiny ant marching by might think that itís a hill.

Two small triangles make a pretty sight,
Joined together in the sky, they look just like a kite.

Three small triangles, stack them one, two, three,
In the forest you would think that they were one big tree.

Four small triangles, pointing all together,
Make a pinwheel that can spin in windy kind of weather.

Five small triangles, the fanciest by far,
When they all join round and round, they make a flashy






ABCDE Shape Chant

(Put this chant in a pocket chart with a picture
of the 4 shapes on the correct line.)

Draw a circle now with me ( we skywrite a circle)
Can you draw a square this way ? (skywrite a square)
A triangle has 3 points you know (skywrite triangle)
A rectangle looks like this you see (skywrite a rectangle)
Drawing shapes is fun for me !


It's a Rectangle
(to the tune of: "B-I-N-G-O")

There is a shape that has four sides,
But it is not a square...No!
It's a rectangle;
It's a rectangle;
It's a rectangle;
It is not like a square...No!
Two sides are long; two sides are short.
They are not the same...No!
It's a rectangle;
It's a rectangle;
It's a rectangle;
The sides are not the same...No!




This Is a Square

(to the tune of: "Frere Jacques")

This is a square. This is a square.
How can you tell? How can you tell?
It has four sides,
All the same size.
It's a square. It's a square.



Square Song
(tune of: "The Farmer in the Dell")

A square is like a box,
A square is like a box,
It has four sides,
They are the same.
A square is like a box!


Triangle Song

(tune of: "The Farmer in the Dell")

A triangle has 3 sides,
A triangle has 3 sides,
Up the mountain,
Down, and back.
A triangle has 3 sides!




Circle Song

(tune of: "The Farmer in the Dell")

A circle's like a ball,
A circle's like a ball,
Round and round
It never stops.
A circle's like a ball!

Rectangle Song

(tune of: "The Farmer in the Dell")

A rectangle has 4 sides,
A rectangle has 4 sides,
Two are long, and
Two are short.
A rectangle has 4 sides!



Other Shape Ideas and Photos



Making Shapes
Tie an 18 inch length of yarn into a circle. Then give directions to lay the yarn on the floor and make it into a circle shape, a square, a triangle, a rectangle, an oval and a diamond.






Go on a shape scavenger hunt in the classroom, inside the school and outside the school. Use a digital camera to take pictures and make a shape book by captioning each page, ďThe window is a rectangle.Ē




Have a Shape Party by asking parents to donate foods in different shapes.
Circles: M&Ms, Oreos, Nilla wafers
Squares: Cheese Nips, Saltines, Wheat thins
Rectangles: Graham crackers, sugar wafers, ice cream sandwiches
Triangles: Doritos, taco chips

Oval: Ritz crackers

Sphere: cheese balls

Cube: caramels or cheese squares

Cylinders: marshmallows

Cones: Bugles or ice cream cones






Pocket for Snipped Squares
Make a pocket by cutting off the bottom portion of this paper and gluing or stapling the two sides and bottom. Snip the top half into squares and store in the pocket. Send home to parents.



Use pattern block shapes to form pictures.



Use pretzel sticks, toothpicks or straws to make triangles.




Shape Book

Have groups of children lay on the floor and make shapes with their bodies. Take a photo and combine into a class book.


Shape Monster Book

The text for each page is:

Shape Monster, Shape Monster, munch, munch, munch.

How about a (name of shape) for your lunch?

Make a page for each shape. Use (or draw) a picture of a

 monster with his mouth open  on the cover and on each of the pages. The kids provided the shape for each page

 by tracing a block in that shape and then they coloring it. Glue the shape in the monsterís open mouth.




Procedure for Introducing Tangrams (from Libby on Kinderkorner)

Day 1 (about the 2nd week of school)
Start with an 8 inch square.
Put the word square and an icon on the math word wall. Talk about the square's features.

Day 2
We learn a diagonal fold.
We practice naming and locating the diagonal.
We learn triangle.
We talk about triangle and its features.
They know that 2 triangles make a square.
We learn to recite a working definition of square. (A square is a 4 sided polygon with 2 pairs of parallel sides and 4 right angles).

Day 3
Their square has been cut. (Since this is early in the year, I do this cut so the lesson is unaffected by poor cutting.)
They learn to identify the longest side of the triangle.
They learn how to put the square back together.
They learn how to make a larger triangle.
They learn how to make a trapezoid. Put trapezoid on the math word wall.
We learn to recite a working definition of triangle. (A triangle is a 3 sided polygon.)

Day 4
We fold one of the triangles into 2 triangles.
We learn to rebuild the triangle.
We learn to build a square and a larger square.

Day 5
I fold the tip of the largest triangle properly before the lesson.
They learn to identify this fold as another triangle and the leftover piece as a rhombus. Add rhombus to the math word wall.
Put it back together.

Days 6-10
Continue cutting one piece per day and putting it back together.
Add small, medium, large to the math word wall.

Taking apart the tangram like this helps them to have a better idea of the properties of each shape. It develops their spatial awareness, too.

After we get them all cut apart, I replace them with the plastic ones.
We do lots of activities like, how many ways can you make a triangle, a square, a ....?
Can you make a square/triangle/rectangle..... using 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 pieces?

It is probably 3 weeks before we begin to make designs. About the 3rd week I read "Grandfather Tang's Story". It means more to them. They have a background. I have cut a second book apart and put that in a center during the week. They love doing it now because they understand how the pieces fit together.

I have a little deck of cards with the shape on one side and the solution on the other. I like to put one out each day or so. I put it in a sheet protector and hang it on a small table easel for the children to reference.








A Perfect Child in a Perfect Square
Make a square picture frame by gluing four popsicle sticks together and painting. Have each child draw his picture in

 the square box. Hole punch in the triangle part and hang from string attached to one side of a popsicle stick frame.







(OK-so maybe it's not a perfect square!)




"Family Homework" was a circle search. Two paper plates are stapled together halfway up, creating a circle envelope. Students put circular objects inside and brought them to school to share.









Cut a large circle shape and glue on one circular item from the Circle Search homework described above.







The traffic light and the caterpillar art projects help students learn to cut a circle shape. Both are from the Beginnings book, published by TLC Art. (








Students glued triangles to headbands to make hats. This is a good activity to accompany reading, "Where the Wild Things Are".




This fox head was made by trimming off the corners of a square for the triangle ears. Then it was attached to a headband.












This fishy project was created by cutting the corners off of a rectangle to make the fish. Then triangles were added for the fins and sea plants.Thanks to our art teacher, Ms. Bittle, for these projects.



This "Shape Race" game uses the pattern cards on the right for the players to move toward the finish box. This is an old game by Box It or Bag It Math.

These pattern cards are placed face down. Players take turns drawing a card and telling what comes next in the pattern. Then they move their marker on the Shape Race game to the next place that shape appears on the gameboard.





Glue different size rectangles on paper to make a picture--another idea from Ms. Bittle.





This turtle was drawn and the shell was filled in with pre-cut colored squares.





These cylinders were glued together to form a caterpillar and a square head was attached.







 This is a frog made from cylinders.



Watch out for the coneheads! A circle was slit to the center and then overlapped to form a cone shape. A pipe cleaner and crepe paper streamers complete the "look"!





Use toys to create 3-D shapes. Cubes and rectangular prisms can also be made using toothpicks and miniature marshmallows.







Thanks to our wonderful art teacher, Ms. Bittle, for using literature and art to reinforce the plane and solid shapes our kindergarten students learn!





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