Shapes and Attributes


The lesson’s audience will be third-grade students but may be used for second and fourth grade and is primarily focused on understanding shapes and their attributes.  Students usually can identify the different shapes, but may not realize that shapes can share some attributes but not others.  Students should be aware of the names of shapes prior using the lesson.  It is recommended students have the opportunity for extensive hands-on activities using manipulatives to sort shapes by attributes.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other geometry-related lessons, or as a review for older elementary students.

Shapes and Attributes Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Shapes and Attributes
  • Hands on homework activities giving students practice on Shapes and Attributes
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 2-4 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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This lesson is primarily focused on understanding shapes and their attributes. The lesson begins by describing the importance of being able to classify and organize shapes’ bases on their features. The lesson separates shapes into two groups, 2D and 3D. 2D shapes are classified by number of sides, and several 2D and 3D shapes are illustrated for reference. Relevant vocabulary, like parallel lines, quadrilateral, and rhombus is defined throughout the lesson. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other geometry-related lessons, or as a review for older elementary students.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Display several shapes, 2D and 3D. Ask students to tell what is the same and different about the shapes.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students if they can think of other shapes that can be added to what is different or the same about the shapes.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Shapes and Attributes.
  4. Distribute Shapes and Attributes content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity pages. Read and review the instructions.  Distribute supplies.  Circulate through the room to ensure students are using one or more of the required terms in their descriptions of each shape.
  6. Once completed, students share their work taking turns reading one or more of their written descriptions of the shapes.
  7. Distribute Practice pages (2). Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Allow students to share their drawings of the described shapes.
  9. In closing, ask students: If your body had to be turned into a different shape, which would you choose and why? (Your head, arms, and legs, will not change.)   
  10. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards:


Class Sessions (45 minutes): at least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teacher resources in Download.

Want more math resources? Check out our other Math Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade