- students recall different shapes
- students can recognise them in their environment
- students can learn to connect a shape with its area formula
OrientationFor our first lesson for this unit, I asked them to name the basic geometric shapes they could think of (basic ones, not all 'regular' shapes, as these can be made from the 'basic' ones). We ended up with: rectangle, square, triangle, trapezium and circle. I then asked if they knew any of the area formulas for these shapes, and for those they didn't know I wrote them. Students copied all shapes and formulas for the purpose of reference.
Our buildings aren't this...pointy
EnhancingI asked students to work in pairs and go around the school grounds 'Shape Hunting'. They had to find at least 2 examples of each of the basic shapes (bonus points in the Realm of Learning if they got 2 triangles or more) from around the school, record them and come back within a certain time limit. Year 12 students are often wary of 'gimmicks' and 'childish games', but the students enjoyed the chance to get out of the classroom and find something.
ConsolidationWhen students returned, I gave the first few groups to return extra points, and when all had returned, I asked them where they found all of their shapes. Students expressed interest in how easy it was, and how prevalent the shapes were. I explained that the point is to see the basic geometric parts in things to make them solvable/usable.
Not a very deep learning experience, but appropriate for the opening of a unit. Getting the students out and about, working independent of the teacher, engages students who might be visual, kinaesthetic or naturalistic learners as seen in Bloom's revised taxonomy (Frangenheim, 2005) and gives them a chance to show how responsible they can be (because sometimes year 12 boys aren't so much with the 'responsibility'). Also, we've recently done PD at our school that discussed the idea of giving students a chance to 'wake up' by stretching, moving around during a long class, as it helps to keep them engaged and work longer. It was a fun idea and I've decided to try something similar for later in the unit.