3-D Shapes

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Content Area(s):  
Grade Level(s):  
Oregon Common Core State Standards: 
1.G.A.2 Compose three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders, spheres) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.
SL.1.2. Ask and answer questions about key details of information presented orally or through other media
Lesson Plan Details
1 Week
Students will learn...and identify 3D shapes (solid shapes) by names, figure, and attributes. Also identify these shapes in real world objects.

Prior to instruction, the teacher needs to...show a catcchy 3D song from YouTube. Songs help  children learn new ideas with ease. Students will identify 3D shapes by there characteritics,

  • Create class set of Shape Cards, Name Cards and Face Cards.
  • Physical models of a cube, cone, sphere, and cylinder
  • Sentence Frames 
  • Form for 3D Shapes 
  • Index Cards
  • Labels for classroom Museum

In this lesson, the teacher will...

SMARTBoard: If you have a SMARTBoard go to SMARTExchange for many 3D programs for 1st graders. Use through- out the lessons.

Day 1:

Center 1: Exploring Physical Models

Objective: To examine, recognize, name, and explore the properties of simple geometric solids.


  • Physical models of a cube, cone, sphere, and cylinder.

3D shape song - These chants are designed to be quick, familiar songs that teach. I love using songs to help students both recall important information and to practice. These should help key in on the most important descriptions for each shape including the faces and vertices (corners).


Let students handle, examine, and talk about physical models of geometric solids. Lead the class in generating a list of characteristics for each shape. Record the information in a chart and post it in the room for reference during extension activities, other pre-activities, and the main activity of the lesson. Pair-share with the list characteristics, guide them with questions such as:

  • Which of the shapes roll?

The __________shape rolls. [sphere, cylinder, cone]   

  • Which ones don't roll?

The ________ doesn’t roll. [cube]

  • How would you describe this cube?

The _________ has _____ faces, and ________.

 [It has square faces, edge, and corners (vertices)]

  • How are the cube and cone alike?

The _______ and ______ are alike, because each has faces and corners. However, the cone has __________ and the cube has no round parts. 

[They each have faces, and corners. The cone has round parts, etc.]

  • How are they different?

The _____ has square faces and the ______ has a circular face.

[The cube has square faces. The cone has a circular face]

  • Can you point to the corners, sides, and faces of each solid figure?

Yes, I can point to the ______, ______ and _______ of each solid figure.

  • What can you tell me about the ______ shape? What else do you notice?


[Sample response for cone: its round at one end and comes to a point at the other. It has only one corner and one edge.]


Day 2:

Center 2: Representing Space Figures

Objective: To match physical models of 3-dimensional shapes with their names and illustrations.


  • Physical models of a cube, cone, sphere, and cylinder.
  • Shape Cards Set cut into shape cards with pictures of geometric solids
  • Name Cards Setcut into name cards with the names of geometric solids

Matching Illustrations and Solids

Students will watch YouTube: Shapes for Kids


Center 2: Matching Names and Solids

Day 3

Matching Names and Solids

Work with the group to pronounce the names of the 4 solids and match them to the physical models and to the illustrations on the shape cards. Explain that having names for shapes makes it easier to talk about them and makes it easier to describe objects. For example, you can describe a soup can just by saying it has the shape of a cylinder. The following fun and interactive activities will support a better understanding of pronouncing the names of each figure.

Go to website: Shapes Identification

Day 4

Center 4: Shape Spotting - Classroom and Beyond

Objective: To recognize 3-dimensional shapes in the real world.


  • Physical models of  3-D shapes from real world examples: soup cans, round balls, and ice cream cone.
  • cut into shape cards with pictures of geometric solids
  • cut into name cards with the names of geometric solids

Solid Shapes in the Classroom

Ask students to look around the classroom to find examples of the 3-dimensional shapes they have been studying. Have the students label each object to show its geometric shape. They can make labels on index cards by drawing a simple outline of the shape, writing the name of the solid on the card.

Solid Shapes Outside the Classroom (home connection) : See website

Take the class on a walk around the school to identify space figures in the environment. For each one they find, have them say whether it's man-made or natural. If they have a camera, students can take photographs to record the location of each figure and later use these photos to make a bulletin board display or a book for the class library.

Form: Go to website for form. This form would need to be modified for 3-D shapes by cutting and pasting.

During the walk and after, ask questions such as:

  • Is this figure exactly like the model in the classroom?
  • How is it alike? How is it different?

[Help students understand that they can recognize shapes even when the objects they see are not exactly like the shapes they can imagine.]


Day 5

Our Museum / Home Connection

What things in your home have you seen that have the shape of a cylinder?

[cans of food, rolls of paper towels]

What cylinders have you seen outside your home?

[trash barrels, smokestacks]

Which solid figure have you found most often? Why?

[rectangular prism, because it's easy to build]

Have students bring items from home that are in 3D shapes to create a museum in the classroom.

Here are just a few examples of objects of real life items for the classroom museum. Please see Kindergarten...kindergarten (museum ideas) link.




Because I have a SMARTBoard, I went into SMART Exchange and was able to find many already made programs for students to identify 3D shapes. Many interactive activities.  









#1 Assessment

  • 3 Dimentional Printable Shapes Flash Cards

Give each group of students a set of physical models of the geometric solids and a set of pictures of geometric solids cut from Shape Cards Sheet.

Have the students match each solid with its illustration.

As you circulate, observe students' actions and listen to their conversation for ongoing assessment.

As you move among the students ask helpful questions, such as:

  • What do you notice about the shape shown on this card?
  • Which of the solids is like that?
  • What shape are the faces of the figure in the picture?
  • Which of the solids has faces in that shape?


#2 Assessment Form 3D Cut and Paste

Student will cut and place the shape with the correct name

#3 Assessment Solid Figures

Students will write the 3D shape under real life items

Oregon Educational Technology Standards
Communication and Collaboration: 
2A. Interact and collaborate with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
Digital Citizenship: 
5B. Model and practice a positive attitude toward using digital technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.