This lesson is designed to teach preschool children about five basic shapes- square, rectangle, triangle, circle, and star.


Following instruction on the five basic shapes, the preschool students will be able to recognize and name each shape with 100 percent accuracy.

After doing a hands-on experiment with the different shapes, the preschool students will be able to draw each shape to the best of their ability.

After instruction on the characteristics of each shape, the preschool students will be able to name at least one defining characteristic of each shape.


  • Each child will receive these shapes made out of colored construction paper:
    • 1 yellow circle
    • 1 blue square
    • 1 red triangle
    • 1 green rectangle
    • 1 purple star
  • 1 box of round Ritz crackers
  • 1 box of square Saltines
  • 1 bag of Tostitos Nacho Chops
  • 1 bag of Chocolate Wafer Cookies
  • 1 bag of star shaped marshmallows
  • 1 large yellow circle made out of colored construction paper
  • 1 large blue square made out of colored construction paper
  • 1 large red triangle made out of colored construction paper
  • 1 large green rectangle made out of colored construction paper
  • 1 large purple star made out of colored construction paper


This is one of the first lessons the children will learn on shapes. This lesson focuses on five basic geometric shapes. The lesson will focus on the names for the shapes, as well as each of their characteristics that makes them that shape. The knowledge acquired in this lesson will give the children knowledge of other shapes as well as other defining characteristics. The students have not discussed shapes in our preschool class, but may have background knowledge from their home life in this area of study.

Lesson Plan:

  1. First, I will ask the students if they know any names of shapes. I will also inquire about where they see different shapes around their homes or outside. I will also give examples of my own. (Examples: lights on a traffic light, television sets, buildings, etc.) 5 minutes
  2. I will then say to the class the following: “Today we will be learning about 5 basic shapes- circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and stars. We see these different shapes everyday, and it is very important for us to recognize these shapes. We will be counting the sides and corners of each shape. By doing this, we will be able to identify the shape name.” 3 minutes
  3. “First, we will learn about circles. Circles are round. Can anyone give me an example of a circle object in your house? What about in our classroom? Circles do not have straight edges or corners. (I will then hang the large yellow circle on the chalkboard)
  4. Next we will learn about squares. There are many squares in our everyday life. Can anyone think of an object that has a square shape? Squares have four straight sides that are all the same length, or size. (I will put up the blue square on the chalkboard. Pointing to the shape, I will explain:) Two sides meet to form corners. There are four corners in every square. We are in a squared room right now. There are four corners in this room.
  5. Next, we will learn about rectangles. Rectangles are almost like squares, but their sides are not all the same size. (I will put the green rectangle on the chalkboard) Next, we will learn about triangles. Triangles have three sides. (I will hang the red triangle on the board, point to this shape, and say:) Two sides of a triangle come together to form corners also. How many corners does a triangle have? Can anyone think of some triangles we see in everyday life?
  6. Finally we will learn about stars. (I will put the purple star on the board) Stars are made up of small triangles. A star has five corners, and 10 sides. I will then pass out one of each kind of food shape to each child to show the differences between the 5 basic shapes. 20 minutes
  7. When I finish my short discussion on shapes, I will then ask the class if they have any questions. I will answer and explain any questions or confusion, and then do a short activity with the class. Each child should have been given three small, laminated shapes of a yellow circle, blue square, red triangle, green rectangle, and purple star made of colored construction paper. I will then say the following: “Class, I am going to ask you questions about the shapes we learned about today. When you know what shape I am describing, please hold your shape up high in the air.
    • Which shape has three corners?
    • Which shape is round?
    • Which shape has four sides that are all the same?
    • Which shape is made of small triangles?
    • Which shape has no straight edges?
    • Which shape has five corners?
    • Which shape has four sides that look different?
    • Which shape has three sides and three corners?
  8. The students may then eat their “shapes” that they were given previously. 7 minutes
  9. A short and simple ditto will be handed out to the students. Each student will individually finish and show the teacher the ditto when completed. 15 minutes
  10. Finally, I will review the shapes one last time by holding up the larger shapes to the entire class and have them answer as a group what shape it is that I am holding up for them to see. 10 minutes


I am a third year Early Childhood Education/Ed. of Exceptional Persons students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. This lesson was created for CM301, a Technology in Education class that I am currently taking at IUP.

Grade Level(s): Preschool
By: Amanda Chuba

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