Three-Dimensional Shapes

Lesson Plan for Third/Fourth Graders

Subject: Geometry

NE. State Teaching Standards: 4.4.1 and 4.4.3





In this activity, students will identify what shapes architects use to build houses.

Students will then explore these shapes by building a model of their "dream" home.

OBJECTIVES: The student will

1. Identify how architects use shapes.

2. Work cooperatively to create and execute a plan to build a model of a home.

3. Create a cone, cube, rectangular prism, and cylinder.

4. Use at least three, three-dimensional shapes in their dream home.


Patterns for three-dimensional shapes, construction paper, tag board, scissors, glue.



1. "How many of you know what an architect does?

2. "What is the difference between architecture and an architect?"

3. "What shapes do architects use to build things?

4. "Are those three-dimensional or two dimensional?"

5. "Today, each of you are going to join a team of other architects. Together, you will design a model of your dream home."

Lesson Plan:

1. Before you begin this lesson facilitate an activity that creates cooperative groups of 2-4.

2. Team builder exercise:

a. One piece of paper will be given to each cooperative group.

b. Students will be instructed that they will have only two minutes to write down as many geometric shapes as they can.

c. Each student will write the name of only one geometric shape and then pass the paper to the next student.

d. The game ends when the time expires.

3. Demonstrate how to make cones, rectangular prisms, cylinders and cubes from the photocopied patterns.

4. Have students practice making their own.

4. Discuss with the class that they will be acting as architects and that it is very important for architects to have a plan.

5. Give students enough time to come up with a plan for their model dream homes.

They must incorporate at least three, three-dimensional shapes.

6. Encourage the class to do their personal best when "erecting" their structure. Creativity is a positive thing. So, if students decide to make something else instead of what you asked, be flexible!

7. Mount their dreams on tag board. Display them for all to enjoy.


Examples of some questions that could be asked.

1. "What did you learn from this activity? "

2. "What did you like best about it? "

3. "Who can tell me what subject we are studying?"

4. " What do architects do? "

5. " What are three- dimensional shapes?"



Review what the students did on day one. In this activity, students will find geometric shapes on buildings, houses, and/or landscapes.


  1. will be able to locate geometric shapes
  2. identify which shape it is


Camera, blue plan (if possible)



  1. why do you suppose an aritect choose the shape they do
  2. is one shape better than another
  3. are the shapes two or three dimensional

Lesson Plan:

Divide the class into groups. Take the students out into the community and have them to locate various shapes of buildings. Once they found a geometric shape, one student is to take a picture of it, another write down in a journal where the shape was located, and another evaluate the purpose of the shape. If a blue print has been obtained, another student could try to locate the shape on the blue print.


  1. What did you learn form this activity
  2. Do you think shapes are important
  3. Did you see more of one shape than the others

Teacher takes the film and have it developed.


(Preferably to be done on a Friday to allow amply enough time for a response)


Review the activities from the last two days. After teacher has picked up the develop film, give them back to the students to review.


  1. to reiterate what they saw
  2. to identify more shapes that may have been missed


Develop film


Computer with internet capabilities



  1. to find out what the purpose of each shape is


Lesson Plan:

Have each group scan a couple of their pictures and save as a Microsoft Word files. Using the internet, search for locate builders and construction companies (teacher may want to have some pre-set locations) and send the picture to the companies with questions such as:

  1. why was one shape chosen more than the other
  2. does shape matter in the building of houses/buildings


Ask the students if they had any difficulty using the scanner, computer, and/or locating builders/constructions companies and discuss any problems or concerns they may have.



Review the events from the last couple of days. Today they will work on putting it all together for a final presentation.


  1. to recall already learned materials
  2. to identify the purpose of shapes
  3. to identify the importance of shape
  4. answer questions from the past few meetings


E-mail answers from the builders/construction companies

Video Camera(s)

Model of houses




The class will be broken down into their groups. Each group will take the events from the last couple of days and put all that they have learned together.

Lesson Plan:

Each group will be assigned to do the following:

Group One: makes a model of a house with geometric shapes

Group Two: design a bulletin board with the various pictures

Group Three: answer the questions using the answers from the builders/construction companies

Group Four: create a home-building program with script using the video camera using the information from the other group.


What would they change about the activities? Discuss any concerns/questions they may have.


Create a web-site posting some of the studentís pictures of buildings

The purpose of the project and the knowledge they achieved from it.

Be sure to thank all those involved with the project, especially the builders and the construction companies.

Invite other classes to view your work in your class and sit down and watch the video. Afterwards, ask the other classes if they have any questions.