The teacher hides a shape in the Shape Box. Then, one child feels the shape and describes it to their partner, without saying the shape name. The other child tries to guess the shape name based on their partner’s description. Children switch roles and play again with another shape.
Primary Objective
 Using essential, defining features to name and describe shapes (for example, triangles have three straight sides and three angles)
 Understanding shape properties, or the relationship between parts of shapes (for example, squares have four side of equal lengths)
How to Use
 First, introduce the activity to the WHOLE GROUP.
 Then, engage children in the activity in SMALL GROUPS.
 Once the children are very familiar with the activity, they can play it independently at CENTER TIME with slight modifications.
If some students cannot match most shapes, you might want to preview the Matching Shapes version of the activity. If most children can match most shapes but are not yet able to name most shapes correctly or 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 Naming Shapes version.
Materials
 One shape set of six to eight shapes per pair of children. You can use 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
 ThinkPairShare cards
Teacher Resources
 Shape glossary handout: This provides sample language to use when describing shapes to children
 ThinkPairShare Handout: This provides sample language to use when introducing ThinkPairShare 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 hides a shape in the Shape Box while children close their eyes.Step 2
Teacher feels the shape inside the box and describes it to children, without saying the shape name.Step 3
Children try to figure out which shape is in the box based on the description.Step 4
Teacher takes the shape out of the box to confirm the answer.Instructions
Instructions for introducing the activity to the Whole Group.
Activity SetUp  
Gather the shape set you plan to use. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER


Activity WarmUp  
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 game! I’m going to hide a shape in the box, then I’ll describe it to you and you have to try to guess the name of the shape. Let’s practice together! 
Show children the Shape Box and shape set shapes. 
Model the Activity  
Let me show you how to do it! 

First, everyone close your eyes while I hide a shape! Now, open your eyes! 
Point to the first activity step icon card. Put one shape in the box. Choose a shape you think most children will know based on their shape knowledge. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Next, I’m going to tell you about the shape and you have to try to guess what it is. 
Point to the second activity step icon card. 
For example: This shape has 1, 2, 3, 4 angles and 1, 2, 3, 4 sides. And all of the sides are of the same length. 
Model how you describe the defining features of the shape while feeling it in the box. 
Then, you guess what shape I’m hiding. What am I hiding? 
Point to the third activity step icon card. Allow children to respond. 
Then, I take the shape out of the box and we check to see if you were right. Let’s see what it was… it was a square! 
Point to the fourth activity step icon card. Take the shape out of the box and say its name. 
Now, ThinkPairShare with your partner. How did you know it was a square? 
Ask children how they knew it was a square. If any children provided incorrect guesses, explain how the shape(s) they guessed are different from the one you described. Review ThinkPairShare as necessary. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Let’s play again! 
Hide another shape and play again, continuing for as long as time allows. 
Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity
 2D Shape levels
What to do next
Are some students ready for more challenge? Try the adaptations provided for Whole Group. On another day, play in pairs in Small Group.
If some students cannot match most shapes, they might benefit from the Matching Shapes version of the activity. If most children can match most shapes but are not yet able to name most shapes correctly or 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 may benefit from the Naming Shapes version.
Materials
 One shape set of six to eight shapes per pair of children. You can use 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.
 Shapes and Shape Box role cards
Teacher Resources
 Shape glossary handout: 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
The teacher hides a shape in the Shape Box while both children close their eyes.Step 2
Child 1 feels the shape inside the box and describes it to Child 2, without saying the shape name.Step 3
Child 2 tries to figure out which shape is in the box based on the description.Step 4
Child 1 pulls the shape out of the box to check whether Child 1 was correct.Step 5
Children switch roles and play again. The teacher continues to be the hider.Instructions
Instructions for introducing the activity to the Small Group.
Activity SetUp  
Gather the shape sets you plan to use and set them out along with the Shape Box.
MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER


Activity WarmUp  
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 guessing game! I’m going to hide a shape in the Shape Box and then you will feel the shape inside the box and describe it to your partner. You’ll need to describe it so well that your partner can guess which shape is in the box without seeing it! Let’s practice together! 
Show children the Shape Box and shape set shapes. 
We’re going to use these to help us remember the steps. 
Point to the activity step icons
MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Model the Activity  
First, everyone close your eyes while I hide a shape! 
Point to the first activity step icon card. Put one shape in the box. 
Open your eyes! Now, your partner will tell you about the shape and you have to try to guess what shape it is. 
Point to the second activity step icon card. 
For example: Your partner might say, “this shape has 1, 2, 3 angles and 1, 2, 3 sides.” 
Model how you describe the defining features (for example, sides and angles) of the shape while feeling it in the box. 
Now, you’ll guess what shape your partner is feeling. 
Point to the third activity step icon card. 
What shape do you think it is? 
Allow children to respond. 
Then, your partner will take the shape out of the box and we’ll check to see if you were right. Let’s see what it was… it was a triangle!

Point to the fourth activity step icon card. Take the shape out of the box and say its name. 
How did you know it was a triangle? 
Ask children how they knew it was a triangle. If any children provided incorrect guesses, explain how the shape(s) they guessed are different from the one you described. 
Then, you’ll switch roles with your partner and play again. 
Point to the last activity step icon card. 
Time to Play!  
Here is your Shape Box and cards. Now you will take turns describing and guessing the shape. 
Give each pair of children a Shape Box, one set of role cards, and one set of activity step icons. 
[Child 1], it’s your turn to be the shape describer and tell your partner about the shape you feel. [Child 2], it’s your turn to be the shape namer and use the clues your partner tells you to figure out the shape hidden in the box. 
Assign one student in each pair to be the shape hider and one to be the shape namer, using the role cards if needed. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

First, I’m going to hide a shape in each of your boxes. Everyone, close your eyes! 
Put one shape in each pair’s Shape Box. 
[Child 1], you’re going to reach in the box and feel the shape. Then, you’re going to describe the shape, without using the shape’s name. You have to describe it so well that your partner can tell you the shape’s name without seeing or feeling it. 
Encourage the shape describer to feel the shape inside the box and talk about its defining features (number of sides and angles) and properties.
MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

[Child 2], what shape do you think is in the box? 
Encourage the shape namer to guess which shape it is based on their partner’s description.
MAKE IT EASIER
If a child names an incorrect shape, ask guiding questions instead of simply saying their answer is wrong. For example, if the child is supposed to name a triangle but instead says square you could say, “How many sides did they say it has? Do squares have three sides? No? Well, what shape has three sides?” 
[Child 1], take the shape out of the box and let’s see what it is! 
Have all children take their shapes out of their boxes. 
What shape is it? 
Have all children name the shapes from their boxes. Note that different pairs may have different shapes based on their shape knowledge. 
How did you know it was a [shape name]? 
MAKE IT EASIER

Now, let’s switch roles and play again! 

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity
 2D Shape levels
What to do next
Did some students need more support or more challenge? Try some of the adaptations provided above 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.
Did some students play the Matching Shapes or Naming 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 use 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. (Note: These rules are simplified from what children did in Small Group since they are working independently.)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 SetUp  
Gather the shape set you plan to use. Do not provide all the shapes at one time. Set them out in front of students along with the Shape Box. MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER


Introduce the Activity  
Today, the Shape Box shape describing 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 SetUp  
Let’s remind ourselves how to play the game! 
MAKE IT EASIER
MAKE IT HARDER

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity
 2D Shape levels
What to do next
Keep playing this activity in Centers throughout the year. Do some students need more support or more challenge? Try the adaptations provided above for Center.