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Brooke Showalter

Grade K

Hide and Seek with Geometrical Shapes


This activity should begin a lesson on a unit about relative

CONCEPTS TO BE COVERED This activity uses childrens literature, a Smartboard lesson,

and a folder location game in order for students to investigate relative location.

The student will describe the location of one object relative to another (above, below, next to)
and identify representations of plane geometric figures (circle, triangle, square, and rectangle)
regardless of their positions and orientations in space.


1. The student will describe the relative position of his or her geometrical shapes using
positional vocabulary.
1. Objective 1: Observation is the only assessment that can really be used for this lesson in
Kindergarten. See chart attached to lesson plan.

Rosies Walk by Pat Hutchins

Smartboard Lesson accompanying Rosies Walk
Number Cutouts
Folder containing 4 grid quadrants inside
Envelope of 4 different polygons

I chose this article because I wanted to learn more about young childrens concept and
understanding of relative location. It may be easy for adults to describe a single location of an
object, it isnt the same for kindergarteners. A kindergarten class was asked to hide an object and
map out the classroom beginning at one location and ending at the location of their hidden
object. Students then switched maps and went on a hunt to find the new hidden object. The
students seem to have a difficulty with scale. The directionality of the map made it difficult for
students to figure out which way the map went according to the classroom space and which way
they needed to navigate to find the item. Students needed to understand the interrelationship
between the size of the paper and the size of the classroom. When students wrote words on their
papers such as I am north or under the teachers desk, students were able to navigate easier

throughout the classroom to find the hidden items. Students were also able to see a better
connection between geometry and relative position. Without positional words, kindergarteners
find it hard to give directions. They arent yet able to give exact coordinates of an item.
Rather students rely on the surroundings and positional vocab. Using positional vocabulary help
kindergarteners understand orientation. Continuously using positional words help students gain
a better understanding and generate their own definition of location itself.
For an extension to the grid activity completed in the during portion of the lesson, have
students complete the same activity using shapes that they are unfamiliar with such as a hexagon,
a concave polygon, and more. These shapes will be cut ahead of time and placed in an envelope
labeled with a number 2. In each envelope there should be 2 of each of the 4 shapes. As pairs
complete their activity, if a challenge is needed, hand out the envelope(s) marked with a 2.
For students who are struggling, I will give them a figure and have them answer several
questions about the figure according to directional words.

Circle the correct directional word:


The circle is inside/outside of the rectangle.

The rectangle is above/below the triangle.
The star is behind/on top of the rectangle.
The circle is beside/below the star.
The triangle is above/below the circle.

To begin the lesson, read Rosies Walk by Pat Hutchins through an interactive Smartboard
lesson. Click on the URL and select the first
choice given.

Pass out assigned numbers to students which will relate to the order they will come to the board
and participate. Call the numbers allowed so that students notice who they will go after. As the
story is read, students will come up to the board in the order of their given numbers and move
Rosies character according to the words read in the story.
After the story is complete, as a class compile a list of words that told each student how or where
to move Rosie. (For example, one page reads across the hay. The word across tells the student
how/where to move Rosie on the board).
Question 1: What can you notice about our list of words?
Possible Student Answers
They tell us where to move something
These words tell us to do something
They are like directions

Teacher Follow-up Questions

Explain what you mean
What do you mean by do
How are they like directions?

Question 2: In your own words, can you give me a definition of location?

Possible Student Answers
Tells us where something is
A place
Like the desk is in the corner of the room

Teacher Follow-up Questions

Can you provide an example?
Can you explain further?
That is an example, how could we use that
formulate a definition?

Further explain that these words are used for relative location, meaning these arent direct
location points such as coordinates such as lines of longitude and latitude on a globe. We are
using words such as the ones in our list to describe the location in relation to other objects.
During (Fix some in terms of explanation)
Before the lesson, set up two chairs side by side. At each seat should be 4 shapes and a folder.
Place a barrier on the table between the folders.
Model this activity to the class by sitting in one chair while choosing a student to sit the other.
Explain to the student that he/she should place his/her shapes (all 4 of them) on the grid
whichever way and wherever he/she would like. Tell the student that he/she is to describe the
shapes and their positions to you as you place the shapes according to what you hear. Explain to
the student that he/she should describe their shape by looking at its characteristics, for example
the shape with 3 sides. DO NOT NAME THE SHAPE. Ask the class what other characteristics
they could look for and use. Make sure points and color are picked out. Then explain that the
student should describe where the shape is located on his/her own grid by using the positional
vocabulary words that the class has been talking about. Tell the student that neither of you
should look at each others grid. Complete the activity. Once the student is finished describing
the shapes and their positions, take the barrier down to reveal the results.

Now its your turn! Explain that students will now practice using positional vocabulary.
Students will work in pairs and should decide who will be partner 1 and who will be partner 2.
Assign partners as needed. Each student should receive a folder with a 4-quadrant grid on the
inside. Student will open their folders and should find a barrier to place between their folders so
that neither partner can see the other partners grid. Barriers may include textbooks binders, etc.
An alternative option is to haves students sit back to back to one another.
Each pair of students should receive an envelope marked with a number 1 that contains 2 pairs of
4 different shapes inside. (The shapes have been pre-cut and already put into the envelopes
which are provided with this lesson). Partner 1 will place all four shapes as he/she wishes on
their grid. Then partner 1 must describe the shape and its location according to where he/she put
the shape. Partner 2 should be listening to the directions and placing the shapes according to
what they hear. Remind students that they should not be looking at each others grid until the
very end. Once partner 1 has completed giving directions, the barrier can be taken down to
reveal the results.
Question 3: Partner 1, how did you chose to begin this activity?
Possible Student Answers
I chose to say the shape with three sides
I said the shape with no sides is in the very
center of the grid.
I started saying the location before the shape.
I think it messed things up.

Teacher Follow-up Questions

Can you explain your thinking of why you
started with this?
What can you do differently next time?

Question 4: Partner 1, how hard was it to try and describe the shape and its position to partner 2?
What kind of words did you find that you were using?
Possible Student Answers
Very hard, words like up, down, in the
middle, etc.
I didnt think I was doing bad describing until
I saw my partners grid in the end. I was using
words like left and right.
I used words like triangle and rectangle. This
wasnt difficult.

Teacher Follow-up Questions

Why do you think this was so difficult?
Why do you think this was so difficult?

What other words might you have used?

Question 5: Partner 2, how difficult was it to listen and place your shapes? What words helped
Possible Student Answers
I could not put my shapes on my grid because
my partner was speaking to fast.
I was listening for words like above the

Teacher Follow-up Questions

How could we fix that? What words may
have helped you?
Why were these words helpful?

triangle, to the right of, etc.

I remember hearing to the side of.

Was this helpful? Did you know which

side your partner was talking about?

Question 6: Both partners explained that they were either using relative location words or
listening for them. Why were they helpful?
Possible Student Answers
I was partner 1, I tried to use these words to
make it easier for partner 2 to place the figure.
If I didnt there was no was to tell my partner
what to do.
I was partner 2, I listened for these words to
make it easier for me to know where to place
my shapes.
Without these words we would just have a
blob on the paper somewhere.

Teacher Follow-up Questions

What could you have done differently?

What could partner 1 have done differently?

What makes these words have order on your

paper then?

Repeat the activity having pairs switch roles.

Question 7: Have your strategies changed for either listening to the directions or giving them?
Possible Student Answers
This time I was telling my partner where to
place the shapes. Instead of saying beside, I
tried to say to the left or to the right.
I was listening to my partner and looking for
positional words. My strategy stayed the
The first time I was listening and the second
time I was giving directions. I still listened
and used up, down, on top of, etc. These
words explain where.

Teacher Follow-up Questions

Do you think this was more helpful and why?

Why do you think you did not change your

So youre saying your strategy didnt change
either? Why do you think this?

Click on the URL and complete the first activity.

NCTM Process Standards

1. Problem Solving:
Students utilize their problem solving skills when they choosing which words to use and
listen for during the grid activity. Students are able to defend which words and or
strategies they chose to use and why.
2. Reasoning and Proof:
Reasoning and proof is seen in this lesson when the teacher asks which strategies work
best during the grid activity for individual students. Students are able to defend their
reasoning to the class.
3. Communication:
Students use communication skills through explaining their shapes characteristics and
positioning during the grid activity. Guided questioning also helps encourage students to
communicate their reasoning and ideas to the teacher and the rest of the class.
4. Connections:
Students make connections from the words the author chose to write in Rosies Walk to
everyday directions/position of items and are challenged to use what they know from the
story to complete the grid activity.
5. Representation:
Representation can be seen in all three aspects of this lesson. The before lesson consists
of a representation with literature, the after lesson consists of representation through
manipulation of the grid activity, and the after lesson brings ideas together for reiteration
of positional vocabulary through a smartboard lesson.
Bragg, L. (2013). Hide, Map and Seek. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 18(4), 3-7.
Hutchins, P. (1968). Rosie's walk. New York: Macmillan.


To the
left/right to/Beside


On top of/
Underneath e

Other words
not listed