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Teaching Shapes


Teaching shapes in class? Check out these great games, songs, activities, flashcards and worksheets to help you teach shapes to your children or students.




Flashcards

A great way to introduce shapes to the students is with objects or flashcards. If you don't have any you can download a set that I prepared here (click here to get the flashcards). They will wear out pretty fast if you just print them on regular paper, so it's a great idea to laminate them if you plan to use them many times. 

You can introduce the flashcards to the students one by one and get them to repeat after you. Students need to say the words many times to remember, so you should try to say each card more than once. Saying the word many times in a funny voice is also a great way to keep them interested. You can also play many flashcards games such as taking away one flashcard and getting the kids to guess what is missing.

Games

Make Shapes (Age 5+)

A popular class activity is to make the students make shapes in groups. First bring four students to the front of the room and explain that you will make shapes. Ask the students to make a square. If their English level is low they may have no idea what you are asking them to do, so you may have to guide the students to hold hands, make a square shape, and then sit down. 
It's good to demonstrate that they will need three students to make a triangle, but they will need four in order to make a square. So the number of people they need might change with each shape. 

Thank the students for helping you, and then ask everyone to stand up and play together. Shuffle the cards and call out the first shape. If the students have a low level of English they may need to see the picture as well. If the students are having trouble forming groups don't hesitate to help them out and redirect students to different groups. You may also have to join a group as well if the numbers are low. 

One the students have all completed a shape, as them to leg go of each other's hands and stand up. Then call out the next shape and continue the game. Star is usually the most difficult, so leave that shape until last and watch as they go nuts. 


Make Shapes with String

Another great game is to set the students to make shapes using a piece of string. Class out a shape without showing them, and the students must race to see who can make the correct shape first. You can also have them battle each other in pairs or groups. 

Shape card slap

First download this sheet of shape cards. (Click here to get the cards) and make color copies. Cut them into small cards (or make the students do it). Divide the students into small groups or pairs and lay the cards out on the table in from of them. Call out a card such as "blue square" and the students must slap the card that you call out. The student who touches the card first get's to keep it. The student with the most cards at the end it the winner.



Shape Activities

Make a T-shirt (Age 6+)


A great activity to help reinforce shapes is to have the students design T-shirts for each other in pairs. You can download the worksheet for the activity here.

Explain to the students that you are all going to make T-shirts with shapes, and show them the T-Shirt worksheet. If you have a co-teacher ask them to help you with the demonstration, if not ask one student to come to the front and tell him that you will make a T-shirt for him using the worksheet and crayons.

Teacher: What do you want? (or what would you like)
Student: Triangle please.
Teacher: How many triangles?
Student: Four please.
Teacher: What colour?
Student: Blue
Teacher then draws four blue triangles. 

Then repeat the dialogue again once or twice until the student decides that they don't want anymore shapes. If the students English level is low, you may need to repeat the demonstration three or four times with different students before they understand what they need to do. 

Then explain that the students will be making T-shirts for each other in pairs using the dialogue you just showed them to ask each other questions. It's also a great idea to write the questions on the board in case they get lost. You can then hand out the worksheet and get them to compete the activity in pairs while you walk around the room helping them.


Other Great Worksheets

Click the worksheet to download it.




Songs

Here is a cute super easy songs with introduces easy shapes and how many sides they have. You can also download these songs and even turn them into MP3 files to burn onto a CD using this website called Keepvid. 




Here is another cute song and video which introduces shapes and where you can find them in daily life.







Know any other great ways to teach shapes? Feel free to comment below.