Monday, April 15, 2013

Geometry: Making a ShapeShifter!

Ok, so this is something I learned from my Curriculum specialist, who is my Common Core guru....

The woman is AMAZING at getting kids involved and taking something from paper/pencil to HANDS-ON!

Who has ever heard of making a paper "shape shifter"? I hadn't heard of it before, but this is what you do.

FIRST, take a small square (3inX3in is good) and fold it in half....crease! 

Then, unfold it. Fold each of the corners into the center. Then crease and unfold again. :) 
Then your DONE!

Now....this is how I used my shape shifter:

First, I showed my math class this video link of The Greedy Triangle:

Then, I told them that we were all going to become SHAPE SHIFTERS! They were SO excited and wanted to know how we were going to do that...

So, I gave them each their own little square and took them through the steps of folding their shifters. 
Then, I put them in small groups of 4 to 5 each and gave each group a large piece of construction paper, pencils, and a pair of scissors.
My directions:
Together, you and your group are going to see how many DIFFERENT shapes you can make using your shifters. You CANNOT make a new can only fold on creases that are already there.
When you make a new shape, lay it on the construction paper and trace it.

Then, I stepped back and WATCHED and LISTENED...

I heard some amazing discussions! Some were actually talking about how even though a smaller square was still a square, it was different because it was a different size....

After about 15 minutes, once they all had about 7 to 9 shapes traced, I had them stop. 
I showed them my whiteboard, where I had written the numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6 or more in columns.

I asked them what they thought the numbers were for, and right away, someone said "Those are like the number of sides and vertices"! (yes, we have spent time on
So, I instructed the groups to take turns cutting out the shapes they made, and then come to the front of the room and tape the shapes where they think they belong. The only catch? They couldn't tape a shape if it was already taped by someone else. (each group had a different color, so we could tell who put what up).
This is what it looked like at first:

And, after we went back and looked as a group, this is what the class decided on....

All in all, this was a SUPER engaging lesson and really got the kids thinking about shapes, TURNS, FLIPS, vertices, and CONGRUENT shapes...all without a single worksheet!!!

Thank you to my curriculum specialist for this awesome idea!!!


  1. ENGAGING!!! I need to try this activity with my Mutli-ager! THANKS FOR SHARING!

  2. I use the greedy triangle as a read aloud during geometry. Great hands on addition for the book. Now where to file it so I have it next year...


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