Shapes in Nature Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson, your students will learn about basic 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes, as well as practice identifying those shapes in nature.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe multiple 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes
  • Identify basic shapes as they occur in nature
  • Communicate and discuss their understandings of basic shapes


30-45 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, 'flat') or three-dimensional ('solid').


Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.



  • Hand out copies of the text lesson Geometric Shapes in Nature. Ask students to pull out a blank sheet of paper as well.
  • Read aloud the sections ''Clouds'' and ''Shapes''.
  • Ask students to list out as many flat shapes as they can. Write those on the board.
  • Ask students to list out as many 3-dimensional shapes as they can. Write those on the board.
  • Take out an apple, orange, banana, and papaya.
    • Ask students what shapes they see in each fruit. Write those shapes on the board.
  • Now read the section ''Inside the House'', sentence-by-sentence. As you read through the sentence about each fruit, pause and cut the fruit as described in the lesson.
  • After reading this section, ask the class:
    • Were there any shapes in these fruits that the class had not expected?
    • Write those shapes on the board.
    • Ask students to draw the shapes on their blank pieces of paper, and label what the shape is and where they found it.
  • Read aloud the first paragraph of the section ''Outside the House''.
  • Read aloud the examples numbered 1-4, pausing after each one. Ask students to draw the shapes they imagine they could find in each object. Remind them to only draw the basic shapes, not the objects themselves. After giving them a minute to draw, ask the class what shapes they thought of.
  • Read the ''Lesson Summary''.
  • Test student understanding with Lesson Quiz.

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