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Math Lesson: Solid Shapes

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First Grade Online Geometry Game

Your first grade students will love learning about solid shapes in this interactive geometry game from! Children will learn important geometry skills as they work through this online math lesson. Here are some of the math skills they will practice:

  • Identify and describe shapes, including squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres.
  • Describe objects in a setting using names of shapes and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
  • Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.

Questions in this first grade math activity are presented in multiple-choice format and drag-and-drop format. Each math question includes custom pictures to aid children in correctly identifying solid shapes and their attributes. If students get stuck on a geometry problem, they can click on the «Hint» button. The hint consists of a written or pictorial clue that will help children understand solid shapes without giving away the answer to the question. When students answer a question incorrectly, a detailed explanation page will show them the right answer accompanied by an easy-to-understand explanation. In this way, students progress through the math activity learning from prior errors.

Your students will find several handy learning tools built into this first grade geometry lesson:

  • A speaker icon, indicating the read aloud feature, can be clicked if students would like to hear the question read aloud to them in a clear voice. The read aloud feature is an excellent resource for ESL/ELL students and children who excel with auditory learning.
  • A progress-tracker shows students how many questions they have answered so far out of the total number of questions in the math activity.
  • A score-tracker lets students see how many points they have earned for answering questions correctly.

All of these tools were designed with your students’ math practice experience and achievement in mind.

Online Geometry Practice Your First Grade Students Will Love

I Know It offers a digital math practice experience you and your students will love. Whether you are an elementary teacher, homeschool educator, or school administrator, you can experience the benefits of interactive math practice with little ones and see why educators appreciate our excellent program:

  • User-friendly administrative tools to help you maximize your students’ math practice experience
  • Common Core-aligned math activities written by accredited elementary math teachers just like you
  • Hundreds of digital math activities categorized by grade level and topic on the I Know It website

Children, too, enjoy sharpening their math skills with our digital math games. Here are just a few features that are a hit with students:

  • Bright colors, and bold, kid-friendly design that makes math practice activities inviting and engaging
  • Cute characters that dance around and do a clever trick each time students solve a math problem correctly.
  • Lots of positive feedback responses that encourage children to «Keep going!» even when they make a mistake
  • Virtual math trophies awarded for each new math skill children master on I Know It — students can add awards to their trophy case, and you can print out student award certificates to celebrate their achievements as a class

We hope you and your first-grade students will have fun learning about solid shapes with this interactive, educational geometry practice activity. Be sure to explore the hundreds of 1st grade math lessons in our online collection too!

Try First Grade Geometry Games for Free Today

Did you know you can try out this first grade geometry activity featuring solid shapes with your class for free? That’s right! When you sign up for a free thirty-day trial, you can try out any of the math activities on I Know It at no cost for a full thirty days—no credit card required. We’re confident you and your little ones will love the difference interactive math practice can make. In fact, we hope you won’t hesitate to join the I Know It community as a member when your free trial runs out, so you can continue to enjoy interactive math games for a full calendar year. We have membership options for everyone—families, individual teachers, schools, and school districts. Visit our membership information page to discover which I Know It membership is right for you:

There is so much to love about your I Know It membership. Take the administrative features, for example. These tools allow you to maximize your students’ math practice experience:

  • Create a class roster for your students and assign a class code, as well as unique usernames and passwords to all of your students.
  • Change basic lesson settings, such as limiting the number of hints per lesson and turning the animated characters on or off.
  • Monitor students’ progress with detailed progress reports and print, download, and email student progress reports on demand

When your students log into the I Know It online platform with their unique login credentials, they will be shown a kid-friendly version of the homepage, from which they can quickly access the math activities you have assigned to them for practice. If you choose to give them the option through your administrator account, children can explore other math lessons at their grade level and beyond, for additional practice or an extra challenge. Grade levels are designated by letter (i.e., «Level A» for first grade activities), making it easy for you to assign math lessons based on each child’s needs and skill level.


This interactive math lesson is classified as Level A. It may be ideal for first grade students.

Common Core Standard

Students will identify and describe shapes, including spheres, cylinders, cones, cubes, hexagons, rectangles, triangles, circles, and squares. Students will describe objects in the environment using names of shapes and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as, below, above, behind, in front of, beside, and next to.

You might also be interested in…

Attributes of Solid Shapes (Level A)
In this first grade-level math lesson, students will practice the attributes of solid shapes. Questions are presented in multiple-choice format and fill-in-the-blank format.

Solid Shapes: Defining and Non-Defining Attributes (Level A)
Students will practice identifying defining attributes and non-defining attributes of solid shapes in this interactive math activity geared toward first-grade. Questions are presented in multiple-choice format and drag-and-drop format.

4 Games & Activities to Help Kids Learn Shapes

Learning shapes isn’t just about teaching your child how to draw a circle or square. For 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds, recognizing shapes is an important Core Skill, one of the 5 C’s at the heart of the Begin Approach to helping kids thrive in school and life.

Shapes fill the world around us. A window is a rectangle, a wheel is a circle, a chip is an oval or a triangle. Learning shapes can take place anywhere, anytime, and it helps kids in math, reading, science, and art!

The Short Cut

  • Learning shapes is a Core Skill, one of the 5 C’s that help kids thrive in school and life
  • When kids learn to identify shapes, they also learn to distinguish between objects and categorize things
  • Learning shapes can help kids with counting, problem-solving, patterns, and spatial recognition
  • Parents can help by pointing out shapes in everyday life, providing toys that use shapes, and playing games with their kids that teach shapes 

Why Learning Shapes Matters

Shapes are all around us. If you glance around the room you’re in, you can probably identify a handful of shapes within seconds.

For a preschooler, learning shapes provides an early step to understanding how numbers and objects relate to one another. Pre-K math will show kids how easy it is to count the number of sides on a single shape, helping them learn to apply counting skills to an object.

But that’s not all shapes are good for! Learning shapes also helps kids get a grasp on the following important Core Skills:

Distinguishing between Objects

Learning shapes helps your child learn to differentiate between objects (“This block has four sides. This block has six sides.”).

As kids explore how shapes are different from one another, they’ll pay attention to the little details of each shape. This ability to focus on details, identify differences, and categorize things helps them learn no matter what skill they’re tackling.

Spatial Reasoning and Problem Solving

You’ve probably seen shape puzzles. Their pieces are basic shapes that kids can pull out from a base, leaving a blank space where the child fits the shape back in later. 

They’re popular for a reason. The blanks inside the puzzle develop your child’s spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills, as they have to try multiple shapes until they find the right one to fit each space.

Learning about shapes through this kind of hands-on play helps develop Critical Thinking, another of the 5 C’s.


Categorizing objects is an important early Core Skill because it lays the foundation for more complex math abilities later. 

In math, kids will learn to categorize numbers into sets and subsets (think even and odd numbers, numbers greater than 10, even numbers containing a 2, etc.). A child who can sort objects based on their shape (or their color and size) will have a head start in understanding how to do this.

Counting and Patterns

Like we mentioned before, shapes help your child learn how to count, because many shapes are identified by the number of sides they have.

But shapes can also help kids learn how to form patterns! As your child gets more comfortable with shapes, you may find they start making patterns with shape-based toys like magnetic tiles or blocks (red square, blue square, green square, red square, blue square, green square). You can also demonstrate this to them when you play or draw together.

Pattern recognition matters for kids (and adults!) because people often look for patterns to make sense of the world. Detecting patterns can help them understand how and why something works the way it does. For children, patterns are also related to the comfort they find in daily routines. For instance, a bedtime routine that always follows the same steps (brushing teeth, reading a story together, hugs, then lights out, and repeat it all over again tomorrow and the next night and the next night) is a kind of pattern. It helps the child understand what comes next.

Your child’s life will be full of patterns, and playing with patterns using shapes can help them get comfortable recognizing patterns and creating their own.

4 Fun Activities for Learning Shapes

Here are some of our favorite activities for learning shapes. Try them at home with your child!

1. Shape Scavenger Hunt

What You’ll Need

  • Good weather (if you choose to do this outdoors)
  • A cheat sheet of basic shapes
  • A marker

What to Do

You and your child can go for a walk in the neighborhood or hunt for shapes inside the house on a rainy day.

You’ll snoop around the house like sneaky shape detectives, using your “cheat sheet” of shapes to keep a tally of how many times you can find each shape in your home.

If this is the first time your child has attempted identifying shapes in their environment, acting as an encouraging guide can be a great help!

Help them recognize the ways shapes naturally occur in everyday life—mirrors can be rectangles or circles, pizza slices are like triangles, and so on.

Keeping track of what your child can find will give both them and you some insight. They’ll start to see how many shapes are all around them, and you may notice which shapes your child is naturally good at recognizing, and which they need a little more help identifying.

2. Play Dough Tracing

What You’ll Need

  • Several sheets of paper
  • A marker
  • Play dough of different colors

What to Do

Start by prepping the pieces of paper. Each sheet will hold a single type of shape.

For our example, we’ll have one sheet for squares, one for circles, and one for triangles. Feel free to add more shapes or start small with only one.

Start with a single shape, like a square. You’ll want to draw several squares of drastically different sizes on a single sheet of paper. Use thick, bold lines so your child can clearly see the perimeter of each shape.

Next, your child will use different colors of play dough to “fill” each square outline. Using different colors makes it easy to highlight a distinguishing characteristic between the squares—their size!

If your child is familiar with shapes already and you want to make this more advanced, you can draw several different shapes onto one piece of paper.

For our example, we will use circles, squares, and triangles (try rectangles, ovals, semicircles, and pentagons for more advanced learners).

This time, your child will fill the outlines based on the type of shape they are. So all circles will get the same color of play dough, while all ovals get a different color. They will repeat this process until all of the shapes are full.

Finally, they can count how many of each shape (and color) they have.

3. Shape Stamp Paintings

What You’ll Need

  • Sponges you’re comfortable cutting up
  • Kid-safe paint (watered down)
  • Sheets of paper

What to Do

This activity requires a bit of preparation before the fun can get started, but the masterpieces your child will make are worth it!

Begin by cutting up the sponges into a mix of different identifiable shapes. We recommend incorporating both basic shapes and more interesting shapes, some with sides that are easy to count.

Squares, circles, stars, ovals, and hearts are all great options.

After all the sponges are cut, set out a few different colors of paint. It’s not necessary to assign specific colors to specific shapes, as a mix of both will allow your child to identify flexible patterns once the activity is complete.

With everything set, your child is ready to get splashing with the paint and sponges (figuratively speaking, of course!). They’ll use their sponges to stamp out a variety of shapes in multiple colors.

Once everything is dry, you can encourage them to identify how many of each shape they stamped, how many times they used certain colors, and so on. Younger kids may need you to model this and do it with them (“You made three green squares! Let’s count the red ones together.”).

4. Shape Pizza

What You’ll Need

  • Colored construction paper (red, yellow, green, brown, black, and white)
  • Scissors
  • A single die

What to Do

You and your child will be opening your own pizzeria! The “secret ingredient” to your delicious pizza? Shapes!

To make a pizza, cut out a large circle for your crust. Then cut out a variety of ingredients. Depending on what your child likes to eat, you can adjust the ingredients each of your shapes will represent.

For our example, we will use these ingredients:

  • Circles for pepperoni
  • Triangles for cheese
  • Rectangles for peppers
  • Squares for mushrooms
  • Semicircles for olives

Make a menu with the shapes and what they stand for. Then place an order for which topping you want and have your child roll the die to see how many of that topping the pizza will have. You can start with one topping to make the activity easier.

For example, if you want peppers and your child rolls a 2, they’ll place 2 rectangles on the pizza. If your child isn’t counting yet, count the dots on the die with them to show them how. You can count out the toppings if necessary as well.

We recommend referring to the shape names as you order and again when “checking” the order. You could say, “That’s it! I get four circle pepperonis. Yum!” You can then switch roles and let your child order a pizza.

To play with older children or make the game a bit more challenging, order a pizza with more than one topping, with your child rolling the die once for each topping to determine how many you get.

Once you’re finished with one pizza, you can glue the shapes to the paper to save as a keepsake or remove them and make another pizza!

Learning Shapes Is Just the Beginning

Learning shapes is a fun and exciting way to work on Core Skills while playing with your kids. You’ll be hunting through the house, making paper pizza, goofing around with play dough, and having a great time—but you’ll also help lay the foundation for them to thrive in school and life.

For more hands-on ways to help your kids learn from Begin, check out our number and counting activities for preschoolers, or try any of our award-winning monthly activity boxes from Little Passports.  

And if you want kid-safe, ad-free screen time that will help your kids with Core Skills and the rest of the 5 C’s, start the free trial on our award-winning HOMER Learn & Grow App. It has tons of shape activities for your child, like our Castle Creator and Pizza Parlor, where they’ll make pizzas for customers who pick exactly how many toppings they want.

There are lots of ways to help your kids learn shapes while having a great time playing with them. We hope you’ll give some a shot. You’ve got this!


In Copenhagen, Russian scientists thought about how to teach counting to an ordinary child

The International Congress for Mathematical Education is like the Olympic Games for mathematicians. In addition, they are held every four years. And the International Commission for Mathematical Education, which organizes this prestigious meeting, is no less authoritative in its field than the IOC. Recently, the 10th International Congress was held in the capital of Denmark, which brought together more than 3 thousand leading scientists and teachers from all over the world. This is where you could show your experience and compare it with others! The congress in Copenhagen became a weighty occasion to reflect on Russian achievements and shortcomings in the field of mathematical education. Yevgeny BUNIMOVICH, the chairman of the commission on education of the Moscow City Duma, who visited Denmark, shared his observations and thoughts on this issue with UG.

— Evgeny Abramovich, at what level was Russia represented at the congress compared to other countries? What did we take?

— There has never been such a Russian representation at any congress! Russia was the guest of honor, and she was given the opportunity to bring a large exposition and present a large program. Our delegation was impressive — more than 100 people. Russian scientists have read more than 30 reports, which is a lot. And I must say, the interest in both the reports and our exposition was enormous.

Our exhibition was thought out aesthetically and made in the spirit of constructivism, in the style of El Lissitzky. And the pavilion attracted attention already from the outside — huge posters with funny drawings hung on the wall: something like «if 4 workers are divided by 4, you get 1 worker.»

A large stand was also successfully made at the entrance, where almost all mat education in Russia was presented, starting from elementary school and ending with the post-university stage at different levels — basic, advanced. Tasks were presented at all levels. People constantly gathered around the stand, many even solved problems for in-depth study.

Another large stand was dedicated to the main figures of mathematics in Russia. Since they are known all over the world, the interest in him was huge. A special stir was caused by several tasks transferred from Perelman. They related to Soviet life and looked exotic. For example: in a communal apartment, three dinners are prepared in the common kitchen. One neighbor brought three logs, another five logs, but the professor brought none. How much should the professor pay them? Naturally, not three to five, as it seems right away . .. Here you need to think. On the one hand, it’s funny, but on the other hand, it’s a rather difficult mathematical problem. And it is also important that our exhibition was interactive, with a large number of computer performances and projections.

The exposition is so good that it will probably find its place in the building of the new library of Moscow State University, which is being built for the anniversary of the university.

— Who represented Russia at this congress?

— People associated with elite education. For example, Adygea was represented by employees of a school with in-depth study of mathematics. Many people, of course, were from Moscow. The Department of Education of Moscow, the prefectures, the Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University, and various publishing houses provided great assistance in financing their trip. The delegation was representative. Judge for yourself: the Rector of Moscow State University and Chairman of the Council of Rectors Viktor Sadovnichy, or such a legendary figure in mathematics as Academician Nikolsky, one of the first students of Kolmogorov, who turned 99 years old. Nikol’skii not only attended, but gave a report in English, rather polemical at that, on school mathematical education. There were Nikolai Nikolaevich Konstantinov, known for his mathematical circles, Alexei Semenov, director of the Institute of Open Education.

There was an interesting delegation from St. Petersburg — authors of textbooks, well-known methodologists.

— Is it possible to single out the main directions in what we represented?

— Yes, there was a pronounced trend. Russia mainly presented an elite mathematical education, work with gifted children. This is really what makes the glory of our mathematical school: mathematical circles, summer mathematical schools, our famous Olympiads, tournaments of cities, special classes, Kolmogorov boarding school, university, Arnold’s seminar. Everything was presented very brightly and varied and formed the basis of the exhibition. Even elementary school was represented by children’s puzzles. Therefore, many people have a question about how things stand with our basic school education. In particular, he was interested in the famous French professor Guy Brousseau (at the congress he received for the first time the prestigious Felix Klein medal approved).

Yes, we know how to work with gifted children and we have something to show here — Russian graduates occupy leading positions all over the world. But we could not answer the questions — what to do with ordinary children, with children who have difficulties in the field of mathematics — we could not answer. It cannot be said that we have no experience of working with these children, but we are not used to talking and showing about it. Our trump card is an elite mathematical education.

This system is truly unique and, having been built in the 1930s, it still operates effectively. Moreover, it influenced the construction of such systems all over the world, as Professor Sosinsky showed in his report. If you remember, we had two waves of emigration — Jewish in the 80s and scientific in the 90 years. In Russia, this is a complex attitude: on the one hand, it is a pity when the best minds leave the country, on the other hand, they are the glory of Russian science in other countries. Sosinsky showed how our graduates spread the Russian tradition of working with gifted children in Israel, Canada, France and the USA. These are mugs, and olympiads, and evening schools. I myself am a product of this system: I studied at the second mathematical school, went to Konstantinov’s circle, then graduated from the Mechanics and Mathematics.

But I think that the question of basic education is directed not only to our delegation. This is a question for Russian mathematical education in general. The traditions of elite education, of course, need to be preserved and continued, but we must think about the development of another area of ​​mathematical education — work with ordinary children. I think it’s a matter of time. We have developments, but they need to be disseminated, more internal conferences should be held so that we can share experiences and track the process. In the field of basic mathematical education, we have a lot to learn: at the same congress there was a very interesting exposition of the Scandinavian countries, where work with the most ordinary child was taken as a basis.

— Is it possible to apply to Russian reality some specific ideas that have been working in the West for a long time?

— You can, of course. In Copenhagen, and in other countries too, there is an experimentarium.

This is a museum where you can touch everything, where you can do all the experiments in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics yourself, see how the tsunami moves, how the geyser appears. It is possible to steer a sailboat by pointing a fan at it and thus comprehending at what angle to keep to the wind. These are all models, and with anti-vandal protection — it is impossible to break them. Near each object there is an instruction that you need to delve into. But then you get such pleasure from the fact that you did everything yourself! The Experimentarium is open to everyone — buy a ticket and go. You should have seen how many children there are! ..

My old dream is to build a similar experimentarium in Moscow. We have an idea to show something similar at VVC. After all, there are quite inexpensive experiments — for example, rope knots or a Russian puzzle — nails clasped together, which, it seems, do not understand how they disengage — and it is impossible to break away from this.

— What do you think, is there a chance for Russia to become the capital of the next congress, these mathematical Olympic Games?

— In four years, mathematicians will be gathered in Mexico City. As for Russia, I confess to you that in Copenhagen we announced that we would nominate Moscow for 2012. I think we have every chance.


In 2001, mathematics education in Russia celebrated its 300th anniversary. In 1701, on the initiative of Peter I, the School of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences was opened in Moscow. Domestic mathematical and natural science education reached its peak in the middle of the 20th century. In the 1950s-1960s, a galaxy of brilliant mathematicians appeared, first-class mathematical schools and centers arose.

Thanks to the developed system of science and mathematics education, the country has successfully solved major scientific and technical problems (a nuclear missile shield was created, flights into space were carried out). Overwhelmed by the success, the US officially admitted that «the Soviets won the battle for space at the school desk.»

In the future:

In 2012 Moscow may become the capital of the International Congress on Mathematical Education.

In the near future, the Russian capital will probably have its own experimentarium.

Significant figures: Life and discoveries of great mathematicians (Ian Stewart)

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Despite the mysterious origin of its individual elements, mathematics is not born in a vacuum: it is created by people. Some of these people show amazing originality and clarity of mind. It is to them that we owe great breakthrough discoveries, it is them that we call pioneers, trailblazers, significant figures in mathematics. Ian Stewart describes the discoveries and reveals the fate of 25 of the greatest mathematicians in history — from Archimedes to William Thurston. Each of these amazing people from different parts of the world made a decisive contribution to the development of their field of mathematics. These living stories, each of them captivating individually, add up to a fascinating history of the development of mathematics.




Despite the mysterious origin of its individual elements, mathematics is not born in a vacuum: it is created by people. Some of these people show amazing originality and clarity of mind. It is to them that we owe great breakthrough discoveries, it is them that we call pioneers, trailblazers, significant figures in mathematics. Ian Stewart describes the discoveries and reveals the fate of 25 of the greatest mathematicians in history — from Archimedes to William Thurston. Each of these amazing people from different parts of the world made a decisive contribution to the development of their field of mathematics. These living stories, each of them captivating individually, add up to a fascinating history of the development of mathematics.

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