Math Ideas



Teaching 2D Shapes in FDK - Part 2

Hey hey!

We have been knee deep in all things 2D shapes these past few weeks!

I blogged about this topic in the past but wanted to share some of the new things I did this year.  If you would like to see my post from last year you can click here.

Here is an outline of my 2D shape unit for 2015:

Here are some of the shape videos I like to use at the beginning of each 2D shape lesson:

Here are the links to each video:

Here Are The 2D Shapes That I Know by Harry Kindergarten
Shapes by Pancake Manor
The Wing On A Flea by Ed Emberly
The Shapes Song by KidsTV123
Shapes Song by Kids Tv
Shapes Song by Kiboomers
The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
The Shapes Song by
The HEXAGON Song by HeidiSongs

We start off by introducing the topic 2D shapes and talking about shape names.

Here is the anchor chart that we complete over the first few days.

For our sides/vertices lesson, we used straws and play dough to make shapes.  We talked about how the straws were sides and the play dough balls were the vertices.  We did this whole group and then it was a centre option.  The kids used our shape words from the interactive math tools wall (you can see the rectangle card in the picture below) as a resource and tried to make many shapes!

We also read the book "perfect square" by Michael Hall.  This book is about a square that breaks itself apart and becomes something new each day of the week.  

Then we created our own "perfect square" picture by tearing or cutting a square apart and creating a picture.  You can see my example below:

If you would like the recording sheet for this activity you can click here.

And here is a picture of the bulletin board for our outside hall way with our kid's creations.

Here is a close up of one of the "perfect square" creations!

Next we tied in sorting with 2D shapes and did a triangle/not triangle sort.

In small groups we worked on identifying shapes in real life objects and sorting them on to big shape cutouts to make  reference charts for our classroom.  Then we glued together or I hot glued the items on.  I got this idea from my awesome teammate next door!

Here are some close-ups!

We had a hard time finding triangles... so the kids problem solved and suggested that we make our own out of construction paper to fill the spaces!

We also talked more about attributes and what makes a triangle and a square same and different.

Here is the assessment sheet I use to keep track of the FDK standards that need to be covered.

I make a copy for each child and record information as I observe the behaviours at a centre or I will pull the kids one by one and assess them.  I often start with G3.2 and create my intervention groups based on the information I gather from that.  If you would like a copy you can grab this assessment sheet by clicking on the image above!

I am planning to move to paperless assessments using Sesame Snap in the near future but this is what I am using for now :)

And last but not least here are some of our shape centres that the kids explored through this unit!

My kids love wipe erase books.  I didn't have time to bind the book so the shower rings came to the rescue again!  Just in case you have never seen this idea before you can buy shower rings at the dollar store and use them in place of binder rings! Mine were 12 for $1! So much cheaper than real binder rings!

My kids also love play dough so I threw in these play dough mats as a centre choice for a couple of days :)

A surprising hit was there popsicle sticks with velcro dots on the ends that I whipped up.  I asked the kids what shapes they could make with these popsicle sticks and let them explore at centre time.  They came up with some great shapes and some unique ideas!

The tracing book and the play dough mats can be found in my 2D shape unit.  You can on the images below if you are interested in checking it out!

And here are a bunch of new shape games I found that you can use on your SMARTBoard if you have one!

Here are the links to the games, left to right and top to bottom:

Learn Shapes
Color The Shapes
Play with Shapes
Count Sides

I hope this post was able to give you some new ideas!

How do you teach 2D shapes?


  1. Hey!
    Love this post! Question for you about the small group activity in which you identified shapes in real life objects and sorted them into big shape cut-outs. How exactly did you run this small-group activity? Did you pull a small group of students, and already have a collection of items set-out for them? And then let's say this group was focusing on circles, you said "find/sort all of the circles", and then you glued them down together? Or did they have to find/bring in the objects on their own? Also, how long did this activity take to complete? Was it a teacher-directed centre during Math Exploration time?
    Sorry for all the questions!! Thank you!!

    1. Hi Hannah!

      At first I introduced the activity in a whole group lesson to show them what we would be doing. I had a collection of items already sorted. The students sat on the edge of our carpet and we put the big cut-outs in the middle. Then I held up one item at a time and asked students to come get the item and sort it on to the correct cut-out. After we practiced with a couple items we moved the cut-outs and items on to a table and we worked in small groups to complete the rest. Once we had all of our items sorted and laid them out we then talked about which ones would need more shapes to fill the spaces. For triangles we cut them out of construction paper and for rectangle we cut book covers out of extra Scholastic book orders. It only took 1 day (about 10 minutes for the mini lesson and 40 minutes for the small group activity so about an hour total) and it was a teacher-directed centre during math exploration time. I hope I answered all your questions! Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions!