Geometry Activities

Compiled By: Mrs. G

This is a collection of geometry activities that incorporate literature or hands on projects.

Use Picture Books
Posted by: Mr. K

Alphabet City...geometry in nature and symmetry
The Greedy Triangle...polygons
Sir Circumference and the First Round Table...circles
Shape Up: Fun with Triangles and Other Polygons...triangles, lines, angles
Mummy Math...solid geometry
Grandfather Tang...tangrams, polygons, problem solving
Sir Circumference and th eSword in the Cone...solid geometry
Sam Johnson and the Blue ribbon Quilt...geometry
Elmer...tessellations

The kids love them and there are so many activities to do.

Geometry
Posted by: Betsy

Geometry can be so much fun! You could introduce geometry with the book The Greedy Triangle. Give each student 3 peices of straw to form the triangle, then let them form each shape as the geedy triangle visits the shape master to become a new shape. Students can bring playdo and toothpicks to make shapes. Keep a shape journal of shapes you see- at home, at the store, from the school bus. Game- student comes to front of room and closes eyes. Teacher place shape in student's hand and the student must name the shape. I have a song about shapes but it's at school. I'll try to remember to post it tomorrow. The National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics has a great website where students can actually manipulate shapes. (http://illuminations.nctm.org/index2.html Also, students can go on a shape scavenger hunt. There is so much...sorry this is so jumbled...in a hurry!

Geometry and Fractions
Posted by: ConnieWI

Have you read Grandfather Tang's Story? This is a story told with tangrams. You could make tangrams from cardstock or tagboard, and then make tangram puzzles for the animals in the story. As you read the story (the second time), your students could complete the tangram puzzles.

You could also use the tangrams and design A, B, C puzzles...one for each letter of the alphabet.

Geometry dominoes would also be a great idea. Make domino cards. Begin by listing all kinds of geometry words and have pictures to match each one. Examples: one half could be a square, the other half could have the word rectangle, one half could be a picture of a cone, the other half could be the word rectangular prism. Be sure your words match your pictures.

You could also make dominoes for fractions. The fraction would be on one half of the card, and a picture would be on the other half. The pictures could be different shapes that are shaded to match the fractions you are using...circles, squares, rectangles, pentagons, etc.

geometry lesson
Posted by: Susan/IN

After reading the book mentioned in the other post, why not take your students on a Geometry Walk around your building? Take a pad of post its and each time a student sees something that looks like a familiar shape, write it on a post it note. When you get back you can make a bar graph of these items. You can add to it as children think of other things they saw or use every day.

You can also take a digital camera along on your walk and take pictures of various children standing in front of, behind, next to, to the right, to the left... of each item they see. Then you can make a class book about your Geometry walk and put sentences on each page. Example: Susie is standing to the left of the flag. The flag is a rectangle.

You can make the book fill in the blank to make it more interactive.

We have done both of these activities with first and second graders and they loved it. Also helps kids look at the environment more carefully.

geometry
Posted by: Tom

I always introduce my kids to geometry via the book "Sir Cumference and the Knights of the Round Table." It is a fabulous book with a lot of play on words (Sir Cumference = circumference is married to Lady Di of Ameter = diameter and they have a son named Radius. Also there is a character named Geo of Metry. The book introduces the shapes and is told along the lines of Sir Arthur. The author (can't remember right off hand) also has another book on angles that has the same characters. Terrific! FYI: a great way to end a geometry unit is to have the students create a geometry pictionary. Give them a list of shapes, solids, lines, etc. to draw or trace and the construction paper to create the bookl. For those that need more of a chalenge, have them look through magazines and newspapers to find pictures that represent the shapes and solides, etc. Teaching geometry can be fun!

geometry games
Posted by: tia

i have 4 that i created (not online, though)

1. musical angles--draw as many angles as you have student (or if you have few students and a large room, create 2x the #--for space between students). place the angles around the room--taped to walls, furniture, floor... when the music comes on, students must measure their angle and classify it. when the music goes off, they must move to the next angle. you must firmly set the rule that they may NOT move until the next piece of music comes on. it's helpful if you have an aide in the room who can stop/start the music or monitor to make sure the kids are "getting" it. then you can go over the answers afterward with everyone--what kind of angle was angle #12? they should all have the right classification, but their measurements will likely be off one way or the other 3 degrees. if any are way off, hold up that angle and measure it for them.

2. geometry bingo--have pictures (i just drew mine) of everything you want to review--similar shapes, congruent shapes, parallel lines, acute triangle (be careful, because, obviously, some things have 2 names--like a right triangle can also be an isoceles triangle--i avoided that problem by only having 1 answer card--like, i had "right triangle" but not the isoceles triangle). as you call out terms, students cover their pictures.

3. who am i? game--like the old "i am 5 x 8. what am i?" and someone else in the room says "i'm 40 (because s/he has that card). who has 3 x 5?" and someone else has 35..... i made one for geometry concepts....and i will post the word document (if it's not too large)
THE ONLY PROBLEM IS....IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED....i have 2 scalene triangles in there, so an adjustment needs to be made--sorry, i ran out of time this year so didn't do the game and don't have time to figure it out right now.

(the document is in 2 column-format--which each card being answered by the next one...the last card is answered with the first.)

4. Teams Tournament
This one i actually did to review for my geometry measurement unit (area, volume...), but it could be used with geometry concepts. it helps that i have a SMARTBoard for all students to view...but if you had an overhead, it would work just as well. i created slides of various problems (some real world word problems) some with pictures....what is the area of this rectangle? some with missing information--what is the perimeter of this shape--where they had to figure out the missing measurements first. class was divided into teams of 4-5. each team had a TAP light. every student had a small white board--the rules were: EACH member of the team had to have the formula, work, correct answer, and correct label (inches squared) on their boards--the first light lit got to answer the question--if they were wrong (or someone didn't have all information--encouraging them to work together and share how to solve problems), it went to the next lit group.

i have played Teams Tournament before differently, but this time i wanted to use the TAP lights that i had seen someone mention here so, of course, i had to go out to buy them to use! (\$5 for 4 at Walmart in lighting section by auto--they came with batteries--wahoo!)

anyway, the other way i've done Teams Tournament is every team gets equal number of chances. first question is for team 1--they get x# of minutes to solve--first answer loud enough for me to hear is the answer--keeps the one kid from always shouting out answers: they need to consult. if they are wrong, the question goes to the next team--keeps the other teams quiet and working because they might get to steal! and then i always give the last question to the last team--same number of problems each.

of course, i ALWAYS have prizes for winners! this adds a bit more motivation for them! sometimes i give a little treat to everyone after playing.

hope these ideas help!

geometry/measurement
Posted by: Beth Barlow

The gifted third graders at my school participated in a wonderful unit on measurement last year. After a review of geometry and measurement. They constructed architechural 'blue prints'. They designed a school. They were provided with information regarding the amount of square feet that could be used, based on how much building materials they were allowed. They came up with the dimensions of the rooms, calculated area and perimeter of each room and the entire school. They enjoyed finding out that the closer a figure is to a square, the smaller the perimeter of the object (even though it has the same area).They had fun planning out every little detail, including classrooms, gym, cafeteria, playground, closets, bathrooms, etc. Cooperative groups were used extensively during the project. They presented the final project to another class. Also, we contacted a local architect to come talk to the students. With a little research and planning, this activity can be very successful.

Geometry ideas
Posted by: Persis Wong

When I start a geometry lessons with young children, I would have a magic bag with all kinds of wooden shapes in them. I would allow each child to pick a shape and feel it without looking at it. He would have to guess what the shape is and why. I would then record what he says. Second activty: Using a cut out shape; say square and another piece of paper. Ask pupils to guess what the shape is by slower revealing the shape covered by the piece of paper. It might look like a triangle at one point but as it is revealed, it is actually a square. This allows me to bring in the properties of shapes and to teach them. hope this is helpful. : )

Geometry ideas
Posted by: Susan

Each year with my remedial math students we take a geometry walk around the school. I take a pack of post it notes and each time someone sees something that fits into one of the shapes they call it out and I write it on a post it. We divide the post its between all of us. Then when we get back to the room we set the shapes on the table and make a grid with the post it notes right on the table. The kids love this.

With the younger children we bring in different foods and snacks that fit into the categories.

Geometry
Posted by: Janne

Use twizzlers licorice sticks to teach parallel and perpendicular lines. You can also use them to teach angles. Give some to the kids so they can form their own. Another idea which might be a little messy is to use the small pretzel sticks and icing in the small tubs. Glue (ice) the sticks together to form obtuse, acute, and right angles. Or, have the kids lie on the floor making those angles and lines. I teach LD students and they remember best if they do concrete things with the geometry concepts. They seem to have fun and remember better using these activities in my classroom. Have fun. -Janne

Geometry
Posted by: Nicole

Hey I am starting geometry next week too. I am having the students sort out geometric figures based on how many faces, edges and veritces they have. Does the object roll, etc. For homework they will find real life objects that are triangular, cubed rectangular prisms etc. The following class we will play guess my shape. THe students can ask yes or no questions about the selected shape. Hopefully this will get you started

geometry
Posted by: sandyH

A fun one I've done is to do a quick intro. or review of area & perimeter(whatever you're ready for), and then tell the kids they have been hired to work at Mr. Picky's Candy Bar Company. Mr. Picky has given them the job to come up with all new shapes and styles of candy bars. The only stipulation is that they must have an area of (whatever # you decide) or a perimeter of (same idea).
They get graph paper with blocks of 1cm or larger to use as templates. They cut out shape matching directions. If you've told them the area, they must label it with the correct perimeter. If you've specified the perimeter, they must label it with the area. They bring it to the chalkboard where you have a section labeled AREA 8 or PERIMETER 12 or whatever and tape it up. They should also be looking for ones that are taped up and are incorrect, because the boss is very picky. Also, they cannot tape up a figure if that shape is already up on the board.
The kids really like this one. It's great, because you can keep changing the specifications, so they don't get bored.

geometry ideas
Posted by: Carolyn

I did something with my fifth graders that integrated nicely with language arts. What I had my students do was create an alien from another planet out of geometric shapes. I provided as an example my version, which was a large rectangular "guy" with an acute angle for a nose, hexagons for hands, etc. I called my alien Gorg. I had my kids use at least six different geometric shapes and features to create their alien. When they were finished with him, they had to give him a name, tell which planet he was from, and describe his geometric features in paragraph form. I think they enjoyed this activity.

geometry and art
Posted by: sarah

Here's a great lesson:
Give students a tangram sheet(have them copied onto different colored paper). Give them a big sheet of white paper too. The students have to desin any animal, insect, creature...with the given tangram pieces. Once they've created something they have to glue it on the white paper and decorate the background. This background should fit with the tangram creation. (For example, create a shark and decorate the sea in the background).
They really turn out creative!

ideas
Posted by: Ms. J

I teach fourth grade geometry, so I'm sure it's a little different, but these are a few things I have done in the past. Last year, I started by discussing all the different shapes we see in our environment. Students made their own Geometry dictionaries- had a separate page for each polygon and wrote the definition of each polygon as well as several hand-drawn examples of it. Decorated and took home. Other activities I have done in the past-

1) Toothpick angles- had students glue toothpicks in the form of the the basic angles

2) Stained glass windows- gave students black construction paper; students folded into fourths and cut out polygon shapes in it; then glued tissue paper over the shapes made to form stained glass window.

3) Simon Says- taught students body positions for rays, lines, line segments and so on; played Simon Says.

Sorry this is so late. Hopefully this helps you-- if not now-- in the future!

lines and angles
Posted by: Jo

At the end of my geometry unit I do an activity that you could do just with lines and angles. I divide my class into groups of 4. Each person in the group covers his desk with freezer paper, flat side up not shiny side. Then using stick pretzels they have to do an example of each type of line and angle. We fasten them on the freezer paper using frosting from a can. They have to use a marker to label all items. After they are checked, they get to eat them. I also include shapes in this. I also usually ask for volunteers to bring in bags of pretzels and frosting. It takes about 1 medium bag of pretzels per group (they eat what is left of course) and 1 can of frosting for 2 groups. The kids LOVE this activity. It really has easy clean up and is very motivating--good for an observation.

Geome"tree"
Posted by: Carolyn

My students are creating a "Geome"tree." Each morning when they come into school, they contribute something geometric to the tree I have posted to the wall outside of the classroom. Yesterday, they created shapes with rotational symmetry. They decorated the lines of symmetry with glitter after they had drawn them. Today, they created trapezoids, parallelograms, etc. with small pieces of wrapping paper. Our tree is starting to look great! Of course, it is symmetrical, too. Christmas is a great time of year to do geometry, because there are so many fun things to do.

Tomorrow (if we have school--bad weather today!) we will use real candy canes as models to illustrate reflections, rotations, and translations. They'll position them onto construction paper after coloring the canes. These will go out into the hallway, too.

Posted by: Gina123

When we do geometry vocab. for my word wall or thier own dictionearies, I have the kids write the word and make one of the letters match it's meaning. For example, for line I write the l with two arrows at the end to look like a line. For acute angle, I make the c an acute angle. For parrallel lines, the two l's are the lines. For obtuse, the b is an obtuse angle . It's hard to describe by typing, but I hope you get the idea. Once I do a couple examples for the kids, then they come up with ideas for all the rest of the words. It's a visual way for them to link the word to the definition.

i have, who has
Posted by: JoJo

I use the "I have ___, who has ___?" game repeatedly during our geometry unit and several times afterward. If you are unfamiliar with this, you need to make at least as many cards as there are students in your class. Each card has an answer and a question. For example, one may say "I have radius. Who has a triangle with three equal sides and three equal angles?" Whoever has the equilateral triangle card would speak next. "I have equilateral triangle. Who has an eight-sided polygon?"
I use this "game" for several topics. The one they really love is for state capitals. "I have Albany. Who has the capital of Florida?"

shapes
Posted by: Jo

I do an end of geometry lesson with pretzels and frosting. I use freezer paper underneath because you can write on it easily. Then students are to create all of the shapes, lines, angles, segments, and rays we have studied. Each needs to be named and labeled. After it is checked they get to EAT it! They love it! It takes about three cartons of prepared icing for 24 kids. I usually have the kids bring the supplies and I buy the freezer paper. It's fun and they love it.

Playdough
Posted by: vjc123

I taught a lesson on three-dimensional shapes in first grade and I used playdough. I had the children create three-dimensional shapes using the playdough and they loved it. I think your third graders will have a lot of fun with it. Good luck!

p.s. the dollar store has playdough :)

Dream Playground
Posted by: teachum8

I have my students create their own DREAM PLAYGROUND! They have to include various geometric figures in their desgin. Each figure must be labeled. I usually give the students a list of figures that MUST be included and then they may add additional figures if they wish. These always turn out great and it really shows if the students have learned the figures!!