understanding and applying mathematics standards for young children 19
and rectangular solids, and a can for a cylin-
der. Other shapes can be created with plastic
or foam material from craft stores.
This activity is suitable for children of all
ages. Older preschool and kindergarten
children can be expected to pay more atten-
tion to edges and points (if so directed by the
teacher), while younger children may focus
more on the shapes of the surfaces.
what to look for
• Children will compare the shapes created
by the various surfaces.
• Some children will be surprised at the
shapes created. For example, the base of
the pyramid is square while the sides are
• Most children will not explore the edges
and points unless directed by the teacher.
ModifiCationS for SPECial
nEEdS or SituationS
For younger children or children with cogni-
tive delays, teachers can reduce the number of
geometric solids to two or three. This makes
comparisons and discussion easier. Children
with visual impairments can use paint mixed
with sand so that they can feel the imprints
after they have dried and compare them to the
This activity connects directly to the Geom-
etry standard. Some children may sort and
classify the shapes, which would connect to
the Algebra standard.
CoMMEntS and QuEStionS
rElatEd to MathEMatiCS
Problem Solving: How can we figure out how
many sides of this prism are rectangles and
how many sides are triangles?
Reasoning and Proof: How do you know
that all of the sides of the cube are the same
Communication: Tell David how you made
that on your paper. I don’t see any shapes
with an . (Note: An can be made with the
edges of geometric forms.)
Connections: Are there more shapes with
edges or without edges? (Connects to Algebra
through the use of sorting and to Number and
Operations because of set comparison)
Representation: Tomorrow we’ll use these
shapes with the playdough and see if we can
create the same lines and shapes that you
made with the paint.