Expected level of development
Australian Curriculum Mathematics V9: AC9MFSP01
Numeracy Progression: Understanding geometric properties: P1
At Foundation level, students learn to identify, name and sort common shapes such as circles, triangles, squares and rectangles. They develop their understanding of these shapes in everyday objects.
Use manipulatives such as pattern blocks to investigate the attributes of common shapes to develop concepts of 2D shapes of various sizes and orientations. Ask students to give reasons for their sorting and classification of different shapes and why a shape may not fit within a particular group. Develop students’ descriptive language, making explicit the component parts and properties of shapes, for example, a square has four straight sides that are all equal.
Provide examples of ‘look alike’ shapes such as ovals that look like a circle or rectangles that look like a square. Support students to distinguish between these shapes. Contrast non-shapes such as curves, spirals and lines with shapes. Develop the concept that shapes are closed.
Teaching and learning summary:
- Investigate 2D shapes and sort based on common characteristics.
- Identify and name shapes at home, in the classroom, in the school grounds and in the local environment observed on Country/Place.
- describe where shapes can be seen in their everyday environment
- name basic 2D shapes such as triangles, circles and squares
- describe some features of shapes using their own terminology
- describe a group of sorted shapes
- sort and classify objects into groups based on common attributes.
Some students may:
- lack the geometric language (such as ‘side’, ‘curve’, ‘equal size’) to accurately describe properties of a shape or object. Provide hands-on experience and play with pattern blocks and other objects and discuss the properties they observe together or in groups .
The Learning from home activities are designed to be used flexibly by teachers, parents and carers, as well as the students themselves. They can be used in a number of ways including to consolidate and extend learning done at school or for home schooling.
- We are learning about shapes and objects.
Why are we learning about this?
- The shape of something often makes it useful.
What to do
- Print and cut out these cards.
- Match the shape to its features and its name.
One round side
Four equal sides
Three equal sides
The opposite sides are equal
- Find an object in your home that is made up of one of these shapes.
- name common shapes
- describe shapes by their special features
- find shapes around us.
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A collection of evidence-based teaching strategies applicable to this topic. Note we have not included an exhaustive list and acknowledge that some strategies such as differentiation apply to all topics. The selected teaching strategies are suggested as particularly relevant, however you may decide to include other strategies as well.
Explicit teaching is about making the learning intentions and success criteria clear, with the teacher using examples and working though problems, setting relevant learning tasks and checking student understanding and providing feedback.Go to resource
Concrete, Representational, Abstract (CRA)
The CRA model is a three-phased approach where students move from concrete or virtual manipulatives, to making visual representations and on to using symbolic notation.Go to resource
The Development of Spatial and Geometric Thinking: the Importance of Instruction
This article presents levels of geometric thinking and the types of activities required to develop this thinking.Go to resource
A range of resources to support you to build your student's understanding of these concepts, their skills and procedures. The resources incorporate a variety of teaching strategies.
Sensational shape hunt
Students observe and describe shapes in the environment.Resource details
Chain of changes
Use this task to develop students’ understanding of patterning based on the attributes of shapes.Resource details
Triangle or no triangle?
Use this task to develop students’ descriptive language of shapes.Resource details
In this unit students describe and classify 2D and 3D shapes to develop their descriptive language.Resource details
Building with solid shapes
Use this problem-solving task to help students understand the various properties of common geometric solid shapes.Resource details
In this unit students explore shapes and objects through working with playdough.Resource details
New kids on the block
This unit explores solid shapes observed in buildings.Resource details
By the end of Foundation, students are naming, creating and sorting familiar shapes and giving their reasoning.