# 3rd Grade Geometry: Lesson Plans and Activities

In grade 3, most state standards for math include the geometry of 2-dimensional shapes. Students compare and classify shapes by looking at the angles and sides of each kind of shape. Geometric concepts are also explained in relation to fractions, where the whole is divided into equal parts.

## Ways to Teach Geometry to 3rd Grade Students

### Define Geometrical Terms and Shapes

Most 3rd grade geometry curriculums focus on shapes with straight lines, not curved lines. You'll introduce measurements, such as perimeter and area, to your class. You'll also teach terms, including line, line segment, point, ray, vertical line, horizontal line, parallel lines, intersecting lines, angle, right angle, acute angle and obtuse angle.

### Introduce Shapes with Books

Numerous books are available for introducing shapes. One book that will encourage children to notice shapes everywhere is The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss. Besides Dr. Seuss' catchy rhymes, your students will notice shapes through silhouettes - a bug, flower or mouse; big machines, ships or elephants; grapes, peanuts or pineapples and much more.

Other books for presenting shapes include When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Greene and Icky Bug Shapes by Jerry Pallotta. If you like to use candy to teach a concept, Jerry Pallotta's Twizzlers: Shapes and Patterns could fit the bill.

It's helpful to teach not only shapes but also tangrams. Tangrams are puzzle shapes that can be manipulated into many pictures, as well as shapes of letters and numbers. Three Pigs, One Wolf, Seven Magic Shapes by Grace Maccarone is one book that has illustrated shapes that your students can match up with the accompanying cardboard tangrams. You may want to invest in a set of plastic tangrams that you can demonstrate with for many years. Alternatively, your students can fold and cut their own shapes from a paper square.

### Present Terminology with Body Movements

Show your 3rd graders how to position their bodies to 'be' one of the lines or angles. For example, extend your arms horizontally to form a straight line; extend your pointer fingers to demonstrate that a line keeps going 'forever.' Not extending your fingers would indicate a line segment; using only one arm would also demonstrate a line segment.

### Reinforce Terminology with Songs and Poems

Scholastic.com has geometry poems that can be sung to familiar tunes, such as the Bingo song or Do Your Ears Hang Low? Some Web resources even have videos that demonstrate motions to go with songs. Your class will likely enjoy making up their own poems and songs, with or without movement.

### Practice and Review

Other ways for students to reinforce geometric vocabulary and shapes include hunting for shapes at school and home, then drawing and labeling them. Giving written and oral descriptions and comparing the shapes found, using geometric terms (including congruent and similar shapes) can also help to cement what they've learned.

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