Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

When A Line Bends, A Shape Begins

Using pipe cleaners, children will create the shapes they learn about in the book, When A Line Bends, A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Greene.

Content Area Standard Target
• Geometry
• Analyze characteristics and properties of two- and three- dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships
• Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems
• Recognize, name, build, draw, compare, and sort two- and three-dimensional shapes
• Describe attributes and parts of two- and three- dimensional shapes
• Create mental images of geometric shapes using spatial memory and spatial visualization
• Recognize and represent shapes from different perspectives
Obtain the Materials

• 2 or 3 packages of pipe cleaners
• The book, When A Line Bends, A Shape Begins
• Large cards, 8” x 12” that have shapes  (circle, square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, oval, star, heart, crescent, and octagon)  A set for each child.

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the Activity

1. Explain to the children that today they are going to read a book all about different shapes.  Read the title of the book, When A Line Bends, A Shape Begins and ask the children what they think that means.  Based on the title of the book and the cover, ask the children is they have any predictions about what is going to happen in the story.
2. Read When A Line Bends, A Shape Begins.  During the reading of the story, stop and discuss certain parts of the story, e.g. other names for shapes, locate the shapes in the pictures, identify the characteristics of the different shapes.
3. Once the book is finished, again, ask: “What do you think it means when the book says, When A Line Bends, A Shape Begins?”

Engage the Children

1. Explain that today, the children are going to take lines (pipe cleaners) and bend them into the shapes in the book.
2. Review the shapes on each of the cards.  Explain that the children will make each of the 10 shapes in the book using the cards as guides.  They might need to use more than one pipe cleaner to construct the shape.  Model how the children would use more than one pipe cleaner to construct a shape.
3. Once the shapes are finished, the children can hang them from a hangar and have a shape mobile.

• The children can create Shape Books.  Give each child a small shape booklet w/ 10 blank pages.  Have the children draw each of the 10 shapes in their book.  Children can write the names of each shape on the top of each page.  The children can also find the shape somewhere in the classroom and draw that shape on the appropriate shape page.
• The children can create their own “life-like” drawing using all 10 shapes.  Have the children color the shapes different colors so they are easily recognizable.  The object is to embed the shapes into their drawing.

Encourage Vocabulary

• Shape A form or outline (e.g., "Identify the shape of a circle in this picture.")
• Circle – A round shape that has no straight edges or corners (e.g., "A wheel is a circle.")
• Square – A shape with four straight sides that are the same length or size and four corners
• Rectangle –A 4-sided flat shape with straight sides where all interior angles are right angles (90°). Also opposite sides are parallel and of equal length. Example: A square is a special type of rectangle.
• Triangle – A pointy shape with three sides and three corners (e.g., "A slice of pizza is a triangle.")
• Diamond – A rhombus with four equal sides (e.g., "A diamond looks like a slanted square.")
• Oval – A stretched out circle that is shaped like an egg
• Star – A pointy shape that has four or more pointed parts coming out from a center at equal distances
• Heart – shape, consisting of two half circles next to each other at the top and a V-shape at the bottom, often colored pink or red and used to represent love
• Crescent – The shape of the visible part of the moon when it is less than half full
• Octagon – A polygon with 8 sides (e.g., "A stop sign is an octagon.")

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

• Be having difficulty bending their pipe cleaners to construct the shapes.
• Be having difficulty constructing shapes out of more than 1 pipe cleaner.

Pre-K Children may:

• Easily identify the 10 shapes.

Home child care providers may:

• Bend the pipe cleaners into the shape and ask the child to identify the shape.
• Shrink the shapes on the cards so that only I pipe cleaner is needed to create the different shapes.

Home child care providers may:

• Have the children can create Shape Books.  Give each child a small shape booklet w/ 10 blank pages.  Have the children draw each of the 10 shapes in their book.  Children can write the names of each shape on the top of each page.  The children can also find the shape somewhere in the classroom and draw that shape on the appropriate shape page.
• Have the children create their own “life-like” drawing using all 10 shapes.  Have the children color the shapes different colors so they are easily recognizable.  The object is to embed the shapes into their drawing.

Books

• When A Line Bends, A Shape Begins by Rhonda Growler Greene (New York: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2001)

Music and Movement

Outdoor Connections

• A Shape Hunt is easily done outside. Look for shapes outside.  You might need to strategically place some shapes around your outdoor space but there is potential for great creativity and endless possibilities.  A bird’s nest could be a semi-circle, the leaves or top part of a tree could be an oval, a fir tree could be a triangle and there are infinite possibilities with clouds.

Web Resources

# Comment on this lesson

 To report a problem with the site, please email us. © 2011. M.A.T.H.