T4T Making Bigger Shapes from Smaller Shapes

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1.      Distribute the pattern blocks to each student and ask them to find their work space.

2.      Allow time for students to explore how the pattern blocks “fit” together.

3.      Move among the students asking questions about their shapes, the names of pieces they used to create the shape, and how they would describe it to a friend.

4.      When students have had adequate time for exploration (The amount of time required will vary based upon their previous experiences with pattern blocks.)

5.      Reconvene the class as a whole group. Show a shape and ask students if they know the name of the shape. Repeat this with the shapes you will use in the task: hexagons, trapezoids, rhombi, and triangles. As you present a shape, show the corresponding paper strip with the word printed on it. (This helps students connect the spoken and written mathematical vocabulary. After the lesson you may want to post these vocabulary strips on your word wall.)

6.      Ask the students to describe different ways to make a shape congruent with the hexagon. You may need to model this for students and explain the meaning of congruent. (Two objects are congruent if they have the same dimensions and shape. Two figures are congruent if they are identical in form; coinciding exactly when superimposed.)

7.      Assign pairs of students to work together using one bag of pattern blocks between them.

8.      Once students have found all of the possible ways to make a shape congruent with a hexagon, reconvene the class as a whole group.

9.      Ask the groups to leave their creations and reconvene as a whole class. Invite students to use your set of pattern blocks to create and describe the different compositions of congruent hexagons.

10.     Reference any other math vocabulary that connects with this lesson and engage and invite students in reading them with you.

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