A Knowledge Creation Lesson Plan Comparing Shapes

     

One of our favorite features on the new ProjectPals.com is sharing lesson plans based on actual projects that we created using Project Pals. We hope that by sharing free lesson plans we inspire teachers to try more projects in their classroom.

The first lesson plan that we are showcasing is A Comparison of ShapesThis project illustrates the power of Project Pals to classify and organize information. Students working in teams explore shapes by documenting their basic properties, identifying similarities and differences, and learning to classify the shapes accordingly.

We made a video walking through the Comparison of Shapes project in Project Pals. Check it out for a closer look at the application and project.

"Learning with the Boglers"  Episode 1

THE BACKGROUND STORY

The Shapes project was created on a whim. In October we spent a week at Haralson County Middle School in Tallapoosa, Georgia training teachers and students on the Project Pals platform. We typically orient new users to the platform by having them participate in a Party Planning project, because it's a simple project that can be started and finished in an hour and half, requires minimal domain knowledge or time for brainstorming. It enables new users to focus on learning the features of the application.

However, in Ms. Garrett’s 7th grade Math class, several students had already completed the Party Planning training project earlier in the week. So Miriam, being the on-the-fly educator that she is, asked Ms. Garrett what she was currently teaching. She responded that they're learning about shapes, and in a moment of creative energy, Miriam created the beginnings of what would become this project.

THE PROCESS

Each student in a team chooses at least one shape to research and then ask questions about the shape, such as "how many sides does the shape have?" The questions will guide students to identify the properties of the shape and document the formula (process) by which the perimeter and the area of the shape are calculated. 

Students describe shapes using the component toolStudents use the Project Pals Component tool to describe the properties of various shapes

The final goal of the team is to create a comparison of the shapes by laying them next to each other to reflect differences in their properties, such as: sides, angles, etc. Students are also going to explore the hierarchical structure by which polygons are classified and create a mind map to display those relationships. As a proof of their understanding, students should use material they gathered about their shape to create a profile of their shape, showing all the aspects by which the shape can be described. By creating several visual representations of the shape, the students deepen their understanding of the topic.

Shapes-Compare-and-Contrast.pngA table comparing and contrasting the properties of shapes

151240717958379.pngA mind map depicting polygon classification

A COMPARISON PROJECT TEMPLATE

While this project is a great way to learn and create knowledge about shapes, the project template of describing a series of related nouns (people, places, and things) and verbs (an action, state, or occurrence), and comparing, contrasting and classifying them can be applied across any subject. In an ELA project, the nouns could be characters in a book and the verbs could be major plot occurrences. Or in a science inquiry, it may be the relevant components (nouns) and processes (verbs) in an investigation.

THE NEXT STEPS

Try the Comparison of Shapes project with your class. Download the free Shapes lesson plan with step-by-step instructions detailing how to complete the project in Project Pals.

Request a demo to get started with a FREE Project Pals account valid for the remainder of the 2017-2018 Academic Year. Sign up today. Create projects tomorrow.

 

 

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