One of the activities I like to do about shapes is to ask my students to make a ‘shape friend’ using pre-cut colored shapes. The students can create their ‘shape friend’ any way they want. Hands can be squares or circles, bodies can be rectangles or triangles, they can use yarn or shredded paper for hair and so on.
After they create their ‘shape friends’ they have to share their work with the group, which they are really eager to do. I did half of the class in one day and the other half on another day as it was a big group. They had to say how many of each shape they used. They were free to add any other information like the name of the shape friend, if it was a boy or a girl, what was their favorite thing to do and anything they wanted to say about their shape friend. It was a great combo of Math and Language activity.
Besides talking about each shape friend individually we also did comparisons. I paired the students and they had to find out what was the same and different between their shape friends. I first modeled the activity to the group. Pairing students to talk about something is a great way to develop language specially if you have EAL students in your class as well as to create bonds between students.
One of the students said ‘we can also write how many shapes we used’ so I created a simple worksheet, which was optional for them to complete.
We put our finished work on a bulletin board and a few students went back there to compare and talk about their shape friend.