Math Lesson ideas with 3-D shapes

We had fun this week with a little 3-D Geometry. My students sit in desk groups of 5 and one person in each group made a geometric shape from Keeping It Cool At School Lindsay Keegan's at 3-D packet on TPT. One of my teammates liked it so much she ended up paying me to buy her a license so she could use it in her classroom too! The packet comes with other things that I haven't even had time to use yet. This is how it went in my classroom.

On the first day of our Geometry unit after explaining what 3-D shapes were using a connection to 3-D movies each child had to pick a shape to make: pyramid, cube, rectangular prism, cone, or cylinder. I love that the shapes in her unit are very simple to cut out and assemble and have things written on their sides. They have how many edges, faces, and vertices, as well as name of the shape, and a real live sample of what this shape is similar too. (I have an extra teacher that helps me during math and sometimes we do rotations and other times we work with the whole group.) The teacher helper and I worked with 2 desk groups on making the shapes while the other half of the class watched Brain Pop Jr. on solid shapes on their ipads and took the easy and hard quiz. Then as the students finished making their shape they watched the movie and the movie watchers made the shape.

Then next day we talked about edges, faces, and verticies. They found their 3-D shape that they had made the day before and they worked with their desk groups on their math workbook page from Math Connects and answered the questions about how many faces, edges, and vertices by reading their shapes to each other. We did the sphere together as it is not a shape you can make. This was awesome to see the teamwork and discussions. I am so excited I found this resource and will definitely use it for years to come. I really feel it was a great way for the students to learn a harder concept such as faces, edges, and vertices. After they finished their paper we had a whole group discussion to go over answers. Then they were able to make a second 3-D shape of their choice and some students even made a third.

On the 3rd day we played a game, that comes with the Math Connects series, which reviews edges, faces, and vertices using real solid 3-D shapes I have in my classroom and I felt the students understood this better than many other years in the past because of physically making the 3-D shapes. After the game and math groups were finished for the day we worked as table groups to make a tiny sculpture with the 3-D shapes and then I let students take them home. They cheered as they kept asking everyday, "When can we take our shapes home?"

In case you have your own shapes and want to work on the facts about them here is a freebie 3-D facts worksheet by Leanne Prince at Mrs. Prince and Co.

Here's a great 3-D shape poem freebie from Mariana at Lil' Country Librarian.

I still want to try this idea from Hooty's Homeroom which will be great for a little review before our end of chapter test. Click the link to see the her blog post about it and directions on how to make it.

Another freebies I will add to my geometry is this geometry pack by Nicole Bunt that has some guess my shape cards. Her blog is First Grade Owls.

If you want to go the free route I am sure there are many resources out there. Here is one to make your own 3-D city with patterns.

I found most of these ideas by typing 3-D shapes in on Pinterest. 
I am part of 2 collaborative boards on Pinterst. One with Indiana Teaching Bloggers.

The second collaborative board I'm involved in is brand new and it's called It's A Second Grade Thing. We are giving away a $25.00 gift card on TPT if you want to follow our board. Head on over to Hippo Horray for Second Grade to sign up for the Gift Card.

I would love to hear any other great ideas you have on teaching 3-D shapes or Geometry to your students.


  1. Wow, thank you so much for featuring my product, you are so sweet! It makes me so happy to see your kiddos having fun learning about 3D shapes! You are awesome. Truly, Lindsay

  2. Hi, I thought that this new teacher-seller website might interest you. They are based in Canada and offer features that are not found on similar sites. They also have a lot of new features coming. Here is a link: Created by Teachers, Exclusively for Teachers


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