As a classroom teacher I fully believed in crafting high quality, experiential learning experiences for my students. I tried my best regardless of the curricular area to get my students outside the four walls of my classroom and exploring their environment. Furthermore, I truly believe in authentic learning experiences where a teacher helps the students connect their textbook learning to its real world applications. It was this ideology that help inspire me to create, Shape Hunt, an interactive math game that gets students out of their seats and hunting for math concepts in their everyday lives.
As you will remember, showcased some other math games from my geometry unit such, Quadrilateral Find Five. and Shape Bingo. I have also shared some of my favourite math apps for building spatial reasoning. Shape Hunt is yet another activity in that same geometry unit on shape identification. In this activity I also review skills from my measurement unit by having students practice finding the area and perimeter of each shape. Therefore, it is a multifaceted activity that infuses geometry, measurement and calculation into one lesson. I have adapted this game for different grades by choosing age-appropriate shapes for my students to find. For example, for the younger grades you could ask them to hunt squares, triangles, circles and rectangles.
Shape Hunt requires students to search their surroundings to locate different and identify shapes, then measure and calculate the area and perimeter. I often assigned this activity in pairs to encourage mathematical talk. If it is a nice day I would take the kids outside to the playground to hunt for shapes. This activity is a break from math drills and work sheets, and allows students to get hands on and engage with the geometric concepts.
A PDF of this game can be downloaded for free at on my Teachers pay Teachers store 🙂
- One Shape Hunt Handout per student or per pair of students
- Ruler, meter or yard stick for measuring
- Introduction: Read the Greedy Triangle By Marilyn Burns
- Discuss the different shapes they saw in the book
- Handout game board to each student
- Determine which shapes will be used, and write the shapes on the board.
- Determine the area and boundaries of where the shapes can be hunted (e.g. inside the classroom, on the playground, in the gymnasium)
- Explain the rules of the game:
- Students must hunt for shapes within the boundaries and identify what object they found the shape on by noting it in the first column.
- Students will then measure the sides of the shape and record each side measurement in column two.
- They will then use the space in column three to calculate the area.
- They will then use the space in column four to calculate the perimeter.
- Finally, students will determine what the name of the shape is and record it in the final column.
- Let students explore their environment and find shapes!
- Class Discussion: discuss what shapes were found and where. Have students determine if they found any unique shapes that none of their peers did, or how many people found the same shapes.
How this game aligns with Common Core Standards:
- MATH.CONTENT.2.G.A.1Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.1 Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.
- MATH.CONTENT.3.G.A.1Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.