# What Shape Am I Touching?

#### Matching Shapes

Begin with two sets of exactly the same shapes. Each set should have six to eight shapes. Place three to four shapes from one set in the Shape Box so children cannot see them. Place the same shapes from the other set on the table so children can see them. Children take turns pointing to one of the visible shapes on the table and finding the same shape in the box. Children then check their responses by physically matching the two shapes. Children choose another shape, switch roles, and play again.

Primary Objective

• Matching familiar shapes (for example, circle, square, typical triangle, rectangle) to a target shape
• Matching less familiar shapes (for example, hexagon, rhombus, trapezoid, atypical triangle)

How to Use

1. First, introduce the activity to the WHOLE GROUP.
2. Then, engage children in the activity in SMALL GROUPS.
3. Once the children are very familiar with the activity, they can play it independently at CENTER TIME with slight modifications.

If most students can match most shapes to a target shape, you might want to preview the Naming Shapes version of this activity. If most children can name most shapes correctly and can describe shape families (for example, triangle) by their defining features of sides and angles (for example, all triangles have three sides and three angles), you might want to preview the Describing Shapes version.

Materials

• Two identical sets of six to eight shapes each. You can use pattern blocks, tangrams, attribute blocks, and/or shapes you make from foam board; we do not recommend paper shapes.
• Shape Box: Children should be able to reach into the box with both hands, but not see inside.

Teacher Resources

• Shape glossary: This provides sample language to use when describing shapes to children

Explore the Executive Function and Math Skills in This Activity

##### Steps of the activity

The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!

Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Step 1

Teacher places three to four different shapes in the Shape Box. (Child has the second set of matching shapes.)

Step 2

Child holds up one of the shapes for the Teacher to find in the Shape Box.

Step 3

Teacher feels around in the Shape Box for the matching shape without looking inside.

Step 4

Teacher pulls out the shape they think is the match. They check with Child and physically match the shapes to check.

Step 5

Teacher and Child switch roles.
##### Instructions

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Whole Group.

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Executive Function Skills

Learn how this activity supports math and EF skills.

Math Learning Trajectories

Intentional Teaching Moments

##### What to do next

Are some students ready for more challenge? Try the adaptation ideas to make the activity easier or harder. For children who can match most shapes to a target shape, introduce the Naming Shapes version. On another day, do this activity in Small Group

If students can match most shapes, they might be ready for the Naming Shapes version of this activity. If students can name most shapes correctly and can describe shape families (for example, triangle) by their defining features of sides and angles (for example, all triangles have three sides and three angles), they might be ready for the Describing Shapes version.

Materials

• Two identical sets of six to eight shapes each per pair of children. You can use pattern blocks, tangrams, attribute blocks, and/or shapes you make from foam board; we do not recommend paper shapes.
• Shape Box: Children should be able to reach into the box with both hands, but not see inside.
• Shape and Shape Box role cards
• Think-Pair-Share cards

Teacher Resources

• Shape glossary handout: This provides sample language to use when describing shapes to children
• Think-Pair-Share Handout: This provides sample language to use when introducing Think-Pair-Share to children

Explore the Executive Function and Math Skills in This Activity

##### Steps of the activity

The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!

Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Step 1

Child 1 places three to four shapes in the Shape Box. (Child 2 has the second set of matching shapes.)

Step 2

Child 2 holds up one of the shapes for Child 1 to find in the Shape Box.

Step 3

Child 1 feels around in the Shape Box for the matching shape without looking inside.

Step 4

Child 1 pulls out the shape they think is the match. They check with their partner and physically match the shapes to check.

Step 5

Children switch roles.
##### Instructions

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Small Group .

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories

Intentional Teaching Moments

##### What to do next

Do some students need more support or more challenge? Try the adaptations provided for Small Groups. Continue working in Small Groups with teacher support until students can comfortably play with minimal teacher guidance. Then have students practice the activity independently in Center . For children who can match most shapes, introduce the Naming Shapes version.

Did some students play the Naming Shapes or Describing Shapes versions in a Small Group? If so, they should also play that version during Center. Don’t forget, children should play What Shape Am I Touching? in Small Group before playing in Center!

Materials

• Two identical sets of six to eight shapes each per pair of children. You can use pattern blocks, tangrams, attribute blocks, and/or shapes you make from foam board; we do not recommend paper shapes.
• Shape Box: Children should be able to reach into the box with both hands, but not see inside.
• Shape and Shape Box role cards
##### Steps of the activity

The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!

Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Step 1

Child 1 places three to four shapes from the first set of shapes in the Shape Box. (Child 2 has the second set of matching shapes.)

Step 2

Child 2 holds up one of the shapes for Child 1 to find in the Shape Box.

Step 3

Child 1 feels around in the Shape Box for the matching shape, without looking inside.

Step 4

Child 1 pulls out the shape they think is the match. They check with their partner and physically match the shapes to check.

Step 5

Children switch roles.
##### Instructions

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Center .

 Activity Set-Up Choose three to four shapes you will use and place them out in front of students. Adjust the Challenge MAKE IT EASIER Math:  use familiar shapes (for example, circles, triangles, squares, rectangles). EF: decrease the number of shapes in the box. Math & EF: use only easier examples of shapes (for example, an equilateral triangle with all sides of the same length) or use shapes with very different shape properties (for example, a triangle, a circle, and a rectangle or square). MAKE IT HARDER Math:  use less familiar shapes (for example, hexagons, trapezoids). Math & EF: use more difficult examples of shapes (for example, a long, skinny triangle) or use shapes with similar shape properties (for example, a rectangle and a square) or increase the number of shapes in the box. Introduce the Activity Today, the Shape Box shape matching game we’ve been playing together will be at [name] Center! Tell students that the activity will be in Centers to play on their own. We recommend playing the activity in Small Groups at least once before introducing it in Centers. You will have the picture cards to help you remember how to play and to remind you whether you are the shape chooser or the shape matcher. Center Set-Up Let’s remind ourselves how to play the game! Adjust the Challenge MAKE IT EASIER EF: use the activity step icons or the role cards. MAKE IT HARDER EF: omit the activity step icons or the role cards.

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories

Intentional Teaching Moments

##### What to do next

Keep playing this activity in Centers throughout the year. Students who played the Matching Shapes version may switch to the Naming Shapes version once they’ve been introduced to it in Small Group and can match most shapes independently. Do some students need more support or more challenge? Try the adaptations provided above for Center.

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