# What Shape Am I Touching?

#### Naming Shapes

One child secretly puts a shape in the Shape Box. Another child, their partner, then feels the shape inside the box without peeking to figure out the shape. They describe the shape as they feel it (for example, “It has three sides and three corners.”) and use this information to name the shape (for example, “It’s a triangle!”). The child who hid the shape confirms the answer. Children switch roles and play again.

Primary Objective

• Recognizing and naming familiar shapes (for example, circle, square, typical triangle, rectangle) and less familiar shapes (for example, hexagon, rhombus, trapezoid) of different sizes and orientations
• Recognizing sides and angles (vertices) as distinct geometric features
• Counting shapes’ sides and angles based on their shape family (for example, all triangles have three sides and three angles)

How to Use

If some students cannot match most shapes, you may want to preview the Matching Shapes version of the 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 may want to preview the Describing Shapes version.

Materials

• One set of six to eight shapes. 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

Teacher Resources

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 hides a shape in the Shape Box while Teacher closes their eyes or looks away.

Step 2

Teacher puts their hand(s) in the Shape Box and feels the shape. Without taking out the shape, Teacher names the shape.

Step 3

Teacher checks with Child to see if they are correct. Child confirms the answer. If correct, Teacher takes the shape out of the box.

Step 4

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

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Whole Group.

 Activity Set-Up Choose which shapes you’re going to use and set them out with the box. Adjust the Challenge MAKE IT EASIER Math: use familiar shapes (for example, circles, triangles, squares, rectangles). Math & EF: use only easier examples of shapes (for example, an equilateral triangle with all sides of the same length). 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). Activity Warm-Up Today, we’re going to do an activity with shapes. First, we’re going to talk about the shapes we’re going to use today, then you can feel and look at them. Using shapes from the shape set, show examples of shapes you will be using during the activity. Name the shapes that will be focused on during the activity. Then, pass out the shapes and let children freely explore and play with them for a few minutes. If you’re introducing new shapes to children, consider using the Shape glossary handout for language, tips, and examples. Introduce the Activity We’re going to play a shape naming game! You’re going to hide a shape in the box and I have to guess which shape it is without looking. Let’s practice together! Show children the Shape Box and shape set shapes. Model the Activity Let me show you how to do it! Choose one child to participate in a demonstration of the activity as your partner (or if you have another adult in the room, they can be your partner). First, I’m going to cover my eyes. [Child’s name], you’re going to choose a shape from this set to hide in the box. Hold up the shape you’re going to hide and show it to everyone, then put it in the box. Point to the first activity step icon card. Adjust the Challenge MAKE IT EASIER EF: use the activity step icons. MAKE IT HARDER EF: omit the activity step icons. Next, I’m going to reach in the box with both hands and feel the shape, talk about what I feel, and guess which shape it is. Point to the second activity step icon card. Describe the shape, counting the number of sides and angles, and then state the name of the shape. Okay, I feel 1, 2, 3… 3 straight sides and 1, 2, 3… 3 corners. I think it’s a triangle! Then, I’m going to ask my partner, “Am I right?” and my partner will tell me yes or no. [Child’s name], am I right? Now, I pull the shape out to check. Point to the third activity step icon card. Ask the child if you are correct. If you are correct, pull the shape out of the box. If you are not correct, again talk through what you feel and guess again. Once the child confirms you are correct, pull the shape out of the box and show the other children. We did it! Now we switch roles and play again! Point to the last activity step icon card.

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories
##### What to do next

Are some students ready for more challenge? Try the adaptations provided for Whole Group. For children who 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), introduce the Describing Shapes version. On another day, do this activity in Small Group

If some students cannot match most shapes, they might be ready for the Matching Shapes version of the activity. If most of your 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), they might be ready for the Describing Shapes version.

Materials

• One shape set of six to eight shapes per pair of children. You can use pattern blocks, tangrams, and/or attribute block. You can also make shapes 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
• Shapes and Shape Box role cards

Teacher Resources

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 hides a shape in the box while Child 2 closes their eyes.

Step 2

Child 2 feels in the Shape Box with both hands and feels the shape. Before pulling out the shape, Child 2 names the shape.

Step 3

Child 2 checks with Child 1 to see if they are correct. Child 1 confirms.

Step 4

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
##### What to do next

Do some students need more support or more challenge? Try the adaptations provided for Small Group. 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 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), introduce the Describing Shapes version.

Did some students play the Matching 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

• One set of six to eight shapes per pair of children. You can include pattern blocks, tangrams, and/or attribute blocks. You can make your own shapes out of 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 hides a shape in the box while Child 2 closes their eyes.

Step 2

Child 2 feels in the Shape Box with both hands and feels the shape. Before pulling out the shape, Child 2 names the shape.

Step 3

Child 2 checks with Child 1 to see if they are correct. Child 1 confirms.

Step 4

Children switch roles.
##### Instructions

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Center.

 Activity Set-Up Gather appropriate shape sets ahead of time, Do not provide all of the shapes at one time. Adjust the Challenge MAKE IT EASIER Math: use familiar shapes (for example, circles, triangles, squares, rectangles). Math & EF:  use only easier examples of shapes (for example, an equilateral triangle with all sides of the same length). MAKE IT HARDER Math: use less familiar shapes (for example, hexagons, trapezoids) or use more difficult examples of shapes (for example, a long, skinny triangle). Introduce the Activity Today, the Shape Box shape naming 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 hider or the shape namer. 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
##### What to do next

Keep playing this activity in Centers throughout the year. Students who played the Naming Shapes version may switch to the Describing Shapes version once they’ve been introduced to it in Small Group and can name most shapes correctly and describe shape families (for example, triangle) by their defining features of sides and angles (for example, all triangles have three sides and three angles) independently. Do some students need more support or more challenge? Try the adaptations provided above for Center.

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