Lesson 4

Solid Shapes

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to recognize and describe three-dimensional (solid) shapes based on their geometric attributes (faces).

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons, students identified, described, and drew two-dimensional (flat) shapes based on the number of sides and corners. In previous grades, students identified and described the attributes of three-dimensional (solid) shapes.

In this lesson, students identify and describe solid shapes based on their attributes. As students work, they may notice that some solid shapes have faces in common with others, and that some solid shapes can be identified by the number and shape of their faces. For example, students may learn that a cylinder can be identified by its two circular faces, and that cubes have 6 equal-sized square faces (MP7).

  • Representation

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Describe and identify three-dimensional shapes using visible attributes.

Student Facing

  • Let’s identify and describe solid shapes.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Cube Pattern
  • Shape Design Card Sort

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Each group of 4 needs a collection of solid shapes (sphere, cone, cylinder, cube, rectangular prism, square pyramid). 
  • Create two sample posters to display in the launch. One poster with a drawing of a triangle that can be used as a less precise example for student work during the activity. The second poster should include details that identify the number and shape of the solid shape’s faces.

Student poster.

Student poster. Shapes.

Activity 2:

  • Create a set of cards from the blackline master for each group of 2.

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 15 min
Activity 2 20 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

As students worked in their small groups today, whose ideas were heard, valued, and accepted? How can you adjust the group structure in future lessons to ensure each student’s ideas are part of the collective learning?

Suggested Centers

  • Can You Draw It? (1–5), Stage 1: Grade 1 Shapes (Supporting)
  • Which One? (K–5), Stage 2: Grade 1 Shapes (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.

Additional Resources

Google Slides

For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.

PowerPoint Slides

For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.