Lesson plan

3. Understand composite shapes (C)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/1/G/A/2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP4
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Lesson objective: Understand that composite shapes are shapes created by putting other shapes together.

Students bring prior knowledge of composing simple shapes to form larger shapes from K.G.B.6. This prior knowledge is extended to use more than 2 shapes to make larger shapes, as well as use multiple shapes to compose irregular shapes and pictures, as students model their thinking to solve problems. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is recognizing the importance of changing the orientation of some shapes to create a composite shape. 

The concept is developed through work with tangrams, shape cut-outs, and pattern blocks, which give students the ability to physically move and change shapes through trial and error.

This work helps students deepen their understanding of operations because  as students add familiar shapes together to build and draw composite shapes, they are decomposing and composing. They can begin to connect number concepts to the shape work.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 4 (model with mathematics) as they use tools such as tangrams, shape cut-outs, or pattern blocks to build composite shapes.

Key vocabulary:

  • composite shape
  • rhombus
  • square
  • triangle

Special materials needed:

  • pattern blocks
  • shape cut-outs
  • tangrams