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Geo-Critters (Geometry Critters)


Language Arts
-- Literature
-- Geometry


  • 2-5

Brief Description

In this lesson that integrates literature (The Math Curse by Jon Scieszka) and math, students create geo-critters (geometry critters) from four shapes.



  • recognize the geometric shapes parallelogram, trapezoid, right triangle, and kite.
  • recreate the geometric shapes parallelogram, trapezoid, right triangle and kite.


    math, geometry, literature, The Math Curse, Jon Scieszka, parallelogram, trapezoid, right triangle, right angle, kite

    Materials Needed

    • four large cardboard cutout shapes (parallelogram, trapezoid, right triangle and kite) of different colors
    • construction paper with the four pre-printed shapes of different sizes on it
    • a copy of the book The Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
    • scissors
    • glue
    • geometric shape boards with pegs and rubber bands (optional)

    The Lesson

    Anticipatory Set
    Display the cardboard shapes at the front of the class. Then say: Things in our environment are made of these shapes. Can you find any of the shapes anywhere in our classroom?

    Display the four shapes for all to see. Ask students the following questions about each shape. Develop a list of descriptive words about each shape.

  • Point to the first shape. Can you describe this shape without saying its name? Write the words the students come up with on the board.
  • Finally, ask for the name of the shape. If students cannot come up with the name, tell them and write the name above the shape on the board.
  • Ask students to help you create a list of objects that are the same shape (up to 10 objects).

    Introduce New Vocabulary

  • adjacent: across from
  • congruent: same
  • parallelogram: a shape with two parallel sides, opposite angles and opposite sides are congruent
  • trapezoid: a shape with exactly one pair of parallel sides
  • right triangle: a triangle with one ninety degree angle
  • kite: a shape with two distinct pairs of adjacent sides that are congruent

    Checking for Understanding/Guided Practice
    Read aloud the story The Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. While reading, have the students do the following things:

  • Watch for the four shapes in the pictures of the story.
  • Recreate all of the shapes on the same pegboard with rubber bands. (optional)
  • Save the recreations so the teacher can check for understanding.

    Independent Practice

  • Have students use the four shapes to create a geo critter from construction paper.
  • Have students write about their creations. (Adjust expected quantity of writing to your grade level.)
  • They should also include a description of the shapes they used and what parts of the body those shapes represent on the critter.

    Allow students two minutes each to present their creations to the class. Encourage the use of new vocabulary. Hang critters in the hall for visitors to enjoy.

    Dictate sentences for any student that has reading difficulties.
    Allow students with writing difficulties to dictate their sentences.



  • watch for and identify the four shapes in the pictures of the story.
  • recreate all of the shapes using rubber bands on pegboard. (optional)
  • save the recreations so the teacher can check for understanding.

    Submitted By

    Loretta Greenough, University of Idaho in Coeur D'Alene

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