2nd Grade

Math Lesson Plans

Creating with Shapes

Title : Creating with Shapes

Author : Paige Hefter, Siwanoy Elementary School, Pelham, NY

Subject Area/ Grade: Math/ 2nd Grade

This project is designed to foster individual creativity and independence and enable students to  integrate creativity into the common core aligned curriculum. 


Creating with Shapes – The goals for this activity are:
Foster individual’s creativity
Allow for independence on how to produce masterpiece, but offer guidance if necessary
Integrate creativity into common core aligned curriculum

Content Area and Standards

Content Area: Shapes

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.G.A.1: Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces. 1Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.G.A.3: Partition circles and rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, thirds, half of, a third of, etc., and describe the whole as two halves, three thirds, four fourths. Recognize that equal shares of identical wholes need not have the same shape.


To integrate this lesson into the curriculum, I will first teach the unit “Shapes” and the lessons that are part of that unit from our math program, Math in Focus. After each lesson, I will integrate a “creative activity,” where students can integrate what they just learned. Once the entire unit has concluded, the students will participate in a cumulative creative project, using all that they know about shapes to create a masterpiece.

Lesson 1: Line and Surfaces
Lesson 1 Creative Project Directions: Create a masterpiece only using lines and surfaces.
Lesson 2: Flat Shapes
Lesson 2 Creative Project Directions: Create a masterpiece only using flat surfaces.
Lesson 3: Solid Shapes
Lesson 3 Creative Project Directions: Create a masterpiece only using solid shapes.
Chapter Wrap Up
Cumulative Creative Project Directions: Using all that you know and have learned about shapes, create a masterpiece.

Joy2Learn Artists /Videos that Support Project

Wynton Marsalis – Early Years
Richard Serra – Little Richard
Elizabeth Murray – Painting with Elizabeth Murray
*Note: One video will be shown for each lesson creative project

Art Forms that May Be Included

Different shaped blocks, including flat and solid shapes for use/inspiration
Various creating materials for use including construction paper, tissue paper,  wax sticks, etc.

Connections to Students Passion Areas and Interests

For each of the projects, the students will be responsible for taking the wheel of creating their own masterpiece. For the first three projects, there are directions pertaining to what type of shapes to use, not how to create those shapes or what materials to use to create the shapes. For the last culminating project, students’ only direction is to use all that they have learned about shapes from this unit to create their last masterpiece. This specific project, students will be able to use various forms of shapes. Through the course of creating these masterpieces, students will independently have the opportunity to incorporate their passions and interests into their work. 

Materials Needed

Examples of lines & surfaces, flat shapes & solid shapes
Flat shape blocks
Solid shape blocks
Construction paper
Tissue paper
Wiki Sticks
Pipe cleaners
Pom Poms
Markers/colored pencils/crayons
Any other materials the students may want to incorporate


I will share the lesson with my grade partner if she would like to incorporate as well.


While creating the projects, I will informally assess students on their process in creating their masterpieces. 

When the four projects are created, students will be given the opportunity to present one of the four projects to their classmates. While presenting, students are responsible to share which shapes and types of shapes were incorporated into their project, as well as what materials they used.


Lesson 1 Creative Project: 1-2 days, immediately after the teaching of Lesson 1: Lines and Surfaces.
Lesson 2 Creative Project: 1-2 days, immediately after the teaching of Lesson 2: Flat Shapes
Lesson 3 Creative Project: 1-2 days, immediately after the teaching of Lesson 3: Solid Shapes
Cumulative Creative Project: 3-4 days, including 1 day for presentations.
*Note: Not all schools/grade levels allow the same amount of time for subjects/block periods. This is just an estimate. For me, if students need more time, they will be able to work on any projects during the enrichment block.

Other Notes

Throughout the duration of completing the project, students will be allowed to either work independently or with a partner, as well as ask for guidance if necessary. 

While presenting, each student will be able to take 2 questions or comments from classmates regarding the masterpiece they presented.