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Geoboard Activities

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Have you ever wondered how you can use geoboards to enhance your students' understanding of shapes? The activities listed here offer multiple independent and collaborative, fun and engaging activities you can use in your elementary classroom.

Activities Involving Geoboards

Hands-on manipulatives are a great alternative to having students mentally manipulate shapes in order to discover facts about them. When students are able to see the results of actions on shapes, they can understand the foundational rules that regulate shapes. The activities offered here are designed to give lower elementary students fun and engaging ways to explore geometric shapes.

Make It

This activity encourages students to think about the shapes of everyday items in order to reform them on a geoboard.

Materials

  • Geoboards (1 per group)
  • Rubber bands in multiple colors

Instructions

  • Divide your class into small groups or pairs if you have enough geoboards.
  • Give each group a geoboard and a handful of rubber bands.
  • Tell your students that you are going to call out an object and they will need to try to make that object using the bands and their boards. They should think about the common shapes that can be used together to form the bigger shape.
  • Start with an easy example, like a house. On the board, show your students how they could make a square with a triangle on top to create a simple house form.
  • Now, call out some other objects like:
    • A more detailed house
    • A tree
    • A boat
  • After each image, take time to let your students share their creations with each other. Encourage them to identify the shapes they used to create the image.

Alternative

  • Use prepared image cards for students to copy if they are not skilled enough to create the images on their own.

Shapes in Shapes

Comparing the edges and vertexes of shapes is the focus of this activity.

Materials

  • Geoboards (1 per group or student)
  • Rubber bands in multiple colors

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