Students need opportunities to identify, describe, and trace the 4 basic shapes in kindergarten. They should also explore and manipulate the shapes.
Brown Rabbit’s Shape Book, written and illustrated by Alan Baker – Brown Rabbit receives a colorfully-wrapped surprise package. As he unwraps each layer, various shapes such as circle and squares are highlighted. Some of the shapes are unusual, like the sausage shape or the curly-wurly shape.
So Many Circles, So Many Squares, written and illustrated by Tana Hoban – This book introduces squares and circles through appealing photographs. The photographs are a variety of circle and square shapes. Circles and squares can be seen in many diverse objects, from dishwashers to colorful teapots, to brightly patterned fabrics.
Secret Birthday Message, written and illustrated by Eric Carle – In this book the reader is lead through this suspenseful story using shape matching and recognition. A young boy has to carefully follow instructions to find his birthday surprise.
The Shapes We Eat, written and illustrated by Simone T. Ribke – This book explores shapes by describing various edibles such as a rectangular cereal bar, a hexagon shaped cracker and an oval egg. The foods are real photographs.
The Greedy Triangle, written by Marilyn Burns and illustrated by Gordon Silveria – This book is about a triangle with gleaming black eyes and a perky grin that leads a full life. The triangle can take the shape of a slice of pie or rest in an elbow's angle when people put their hands on their hips. The triangle is greedy so it asks a shape-shifter to turn it into various other shapes only to change back into a triangle in the end.
Web Sites for Kids:
These are great web sites for young children to explore shapes. It also gives the child a chance to practice beginning computer skills such as clicking, dragging, and opening and closing a window. All games are interactive sites and allows the child to be involved.
- Toy Shapes- In this game students will drag the toys to the matching picture shape on the shelf.
- Let’s Play with Shapes – students will play a variety of games with circles, rectangles, triangles.
- I Spy Shapes- students will click on all the triangles in the picture.
- Story of Shapes-the students will listen to poems about the 4 shapes and watch the shape as it is drawn.
- Marigold’s Mathematics Shapeville- students will click on a specified shape they chose in the real-life pictures.
Teachers- Look Here for Additional Resources:
- Lesson plans for shape activities, printables, templates, and related themes involving shapes.
- Links to various early childhood resources. There is a math connection link that has shape songs, lessons, and activities. At the end, it lists other sites to visit for shapes.
- There are 8 shape games linked to the website for students to play such as Shape Story (audio and video descriptions of shapes), Paint the Shapes ( listening and following directions game), Oochy Goes to the Fair (matching shapes), Matching Shape with Krog (matching shapes), Astronomy Shape Match (matching shapes to outlines), Put it on the Shelf (matching shapes with outline), Rat’s Catch the Shape (rat catches shapes), Shapeville (find shapes in the picture).