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Squares and Triangles Game

Use a School Readiness Activity to provide early mathematical thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.
Grades:
Subjects:
Mathematics (5,138)

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Squares and Triangles Game

Purpose/Skills

  • To review the concept of squares
  • To experience the characteristics of shapes
  • To identify triangles (2-D shapes)
  • To compare and talk about shapes

Materials
Squares and triangles in different sizes and colors; a chalk or masking tape triangle on floor; triangles such as the musical instrument; The Father Who Had 10 Children

Vocabulary
shape(s)     circle(s)
square(s) triangle(s)
side(s) corner(s)
alike different
compare

Literature Suggestion
Read The Father Who Had 10 Children by Benedicte Guettier. As you read, help children notice the triangle shapes in the sailboat.

Warm-Up
Have children walk on the masking-tape triangle and notice that it has 3 sides and 3 corners. Show children triangles in different colors and sizes. Give each child a triangle, then ask the children to see, touch, and say "Triangle" and feel its 3 sides and 3 corners.

Procedure

  • Have children play the "What's My Name?" game with squares and triangles. Give each child a square and a triangle. Encourage children to see, touch, and say the name of each shape.
  • Ask students to hold up their squares. Say, "A square has 4 sides. Let's count the sides." Then touch and count the sides with the children. "How many sides?" (4)
  • Ask students to hold up their triangles. Say, "A triangle has 3 sides. Let's count the sides." Then touch and count the sides with children. "How many sides?" (3) Ask children to compare the shapes. "How are the shapes alike?" (They both have sides and corners.) "How are the shapes different?" (Square has 4 sides and 4 corners; triangle has only 3.)
  • Tell children that you are going to say the word square or triangle. When you say "Square," they hold up their squares. When you say "Triangle," they hold up their triangles. Play the game slowly, holding up your square and your triangle to model. When you think that children can play the game successfully, stop holding up your square and triangle.
Enrichment
Play the "What's My Name?" game with a circle, square, and triangle. At art time, have children make shape designs or shape people with shapes of different colors and sizes.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can identify a square and a triangle.
  • In Process - Child can identify a square, but has difficulty identifying a triangle.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet identify a square or a triangle.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.