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Spatial Reasoning Games for the Classroom

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

As students develop their spatial reasoning skills, they are better able to navigate the world. Use these activities to engage your students in fun spatial reasoning games and activities.

What is Spatial Reasoning?

Spatial reasoning is the thinking process that helps you visualize shapes and distances. These skills help with engineering and construction, as well as solving puzzles. Your spatial reasoning helps you follow maps, build towers, and organize the furniture in your room.

To help your students develop this important thinking skill, use the following games that are sure to interest your students and get them working on their spatial reasoning.

Mapping

Have your students examine maps of your neighborhood or school. With a partner, they should challenge each other to create routes to navigate the setting. One student chooses a starting point and an end point. The other student has to find at least two different paths between the two points. As an extension, you might consider having your students create written directions between two points. They should use directions like left, right, straight, across, over, under, next to, etc.

Actual Size

Have your students collect a variety of household objects like: a spoon, a hair brush, and a pencil. Students should try to draw their objects as close to actual size as they can just by looking at it. Afterward, your students can check how close they were by measuring the object and their drawing. Debrief with your students and ask: Was there anything that surprised you when you did this game? What was tricky when you were turning the 3D object into a 2D drawing?

As an extension, have all your students display all their objects then rearrange them from smallest to largest.

Build What I Built

Divide your students into pairs, and give them each the same set of building materials, either blocks, legos, or something similar. Have one student build a tower. Then the other student has to replicate the tower exactly, referring to the original tower as they work. The students then switch, and the other student builds a tower first.

To make this activity more difficult, you might have students hide the first tower behind a piece of cardboard. The second student can request three viewings to check how accurate their tower is.

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