I have used PowerPoint to teach about geometric shapes. Although you can also use Word, I find it easier to create shapes and move them around on the screen with PowerPoint. There are a variety of activities that can help your students learn the names of the shapes while at the same time learning how to make them. If they are ELLs practice prepositions and imperatives. See the following screencast for a step-by-step walk through the lesson.
- Review before the lesson the following: Names of geometric shapes and if they are ELLs their pronunciation. If appropriate, try this website for a quick review of some simple shapes. If needed, review with students simple commands and prepositions such as next to, beside, under, etc. Make sure students have some experience or practice on clicking on something and dragging and dropping. They could try this as practice.
- Ideally if you are in a lab you can show students how they can create shapes along with you. If not, ask for volunteers to come to your computer. (See video above.)
- Show students how to create three shapes, for example, a circle, rectangle, and triangle.
- If you have a projector, ask a volunteer to come to the front. Model the activity you would like your students to do. Ask for a volunteer to demonstrate how they would move shapes after you give them a command, such as, “Move the triangle under the circle.”
- Then have students pair up and take turns giving directions and following commands.
- As a closing activity, show the class your PowerPoint with the shapes in various locations on the slide. Then ask them to tell you, for instance, “What color is the triangle? Where is the pentagon - above or under the circle? Where is the hexagon?" Then ask volunteers to form questions for the class to answer.
Variation: Instead of drag and drop use the cut and paste function.
Share any comments, your experience using this activity or any suggested variations you have (particularly using other technologies).