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The Shape of Our Environment


Tagboard or poster board
Chart paper and marker


1. Cut out simple 4" (10 cm) shapes from the tagboard.
Use a variety of shapes, one per child.
2. Explain that there are many shapes "hiding" in your classroom, then give a
tagboard shape to each child. Have the children identify their shapes by name. Show them some
examples of shapes that they might not notice. For example, a small milk carton may have a
square-shaped bottom and rectangles for sides, and the planter in the window might look like a
small circle when viewed from the bottom and a large circle when viewed from the top.
3. Encourage the children to search the classroom for hidden shapes that match the tagboard
shape they have been given.
4. Next, point out that there are many different shapes in the larger environment, too. Distribute
additional shapes, if desired, identifying and discussing their physical properties.
5. Go outdoors for a scavenger hunt, finding as many varied and unusual items as possible to
match the tagboard shapes your children are carrying. Findings may be called out, sketched,
photographed or (if feasible) brought back as samples/specimens.
6. Ask, "Which shape did we find most often on our scavenger hunt?" Then make a chart of
your class's findings.
Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Science Activities for Children 3 to 6
Center: Science/Discovery/Nature
Topic: Shapes
Content: Science
Area: Fine Motor
Age: 3 through 4 Years Old
Interaction: Large Group

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