Shape Bingo or Matching
For younger kids, try using a variation of the classic game of Bingo to teach them their shapes. Cut out shapes and have students glue different shapes to premade Bingo boards. Make sure that they only have one of each shape. Then call out the name of a shape, and encourage students to place a marker on that shape on their board. For very young students, use shapes such as square, circle, triangle, or rectangle. For older students learning more complex geometric concepts, you can use terms like obtuse angle, parallelogram, trapezoid, and right triangle.
A different way to review the concept of shapes is to create a matching game. This will only work with students who can read well, but it can be used for older students as well. Simply have students draw a shape on one square and write the name of the shape on another square. Then have them turn the squares upside down and play a normal game of matching, with a match being the shape and its name.
Take students on a geometry walk in your school building or outside. Divide students into teams, and bring along a stack of sticky notes for each team. Have students point out objects that they see that have various shapes, and draw each one on a sticky note. When you return to the classroom, have students discuss their findings with the class by posting the sticky notes on the board and reading through them.
Match the Area or Perimeter
Tell students that they are all designers in charge of designing unique potato chips for a famous chip company. Explain that the chip company has only one requirement: all of the chips must have either an area of 24 or a perimeter of 20. Divide the class into groups, and tell them that each group is competing to come up with the most possible chips that can be designed for the company, but that they only have five minutes to come up with as many as they can. Hand out a stack of sticky notes to each group and set the timer. When they finish, have each group attach their sticky notes to the board in a different area. Encourage students to check their classmates’ work to make sure that they all either have the given perimeter or the given area.
Try some of these geometry games the next time you find your students nodding off. They’ll love applying what they’ve learned in these fun ways.
This post is part of the series: Science and Math Hands-on Activities
Looking for science and math hands-on activities? This series contains some excellent ideas for several levels of math and science classes.