Teaching 3D shapes in kindergarten is always a challenge for me. We begin my creating a picture dictionary.
I give the children a table with the 3D shapes on it and a place to write the name for each shape. The children are responsible for copying environmental print in order to fill in their own dictionaries.
During the unit, we play several games. Below you will find some of our favorites:
Can You Guess My Name: Say a riddle such as... I have a curved side. Let the kids guess. I look like a ball. What am I? a sphere. Show the shape. Always start with the vaguest clue and get more specific as you give more clues.
Find a __: say the name of a 3D shape. Have the children travel around the room to locate the specified shape and point to it. Continue until interest wanes.
At the end of the week, we go on a shape walk to locate 3D shapes in our environment. This time I will point out that most of the shapes we see are 3D shapes, but they have similarities to the 2D counterpart.
During this walk, the children sketch drawings of their objects in a math journal. When we return to the classroom, the drawings will be outlined in black felt pen and colored. Once the drawings are complete the children will label each drawing using a pencil.