Grade 3 Mathematics Lesson Plan: Exploring 3-D and 2-D Shapes

Materials Needed:

  • A collection of 3-D shapes (cubes, spheres, cones, cylinders, pyramids)
  • A collection of 2-D shapes (circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, hexagons)
  • Worksheets with activities related to identifying and differentiating 2-D and 3-D shapes
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Chart paper and markers for group activities
  • Interactive geometry software or online resources (if available)

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and name common 3-D and 2-D shapes.
  • Understand the properties of 3-D shapes (faces, edges, and vertices) and 2-D shapes (sides and angles).
  • Differentiate between 2-D and 3-D shapes and explore their real-life applications.


  1. 3-D Shapes – Shapes that have three dimensions – length, width, and height (e.g., cubes, cylinders).
  2. 2-D Shapes – Shapes that have two dimensions – length and width (e.g., squares, triangles).
  3. Face – A flat surface on a 3-D shape.
  4. Edge – Where two faces of a 3-D shape meet.
  5. Vertex (plural: vertices) – A point where two or more edges meet on a 3-D shape.
  6. Side – The line segment that forms part of the boundary of a flat 2-D shape.
  7. Angle – The space (usually measured in degrees) between two intersecting lines or surfaces at or close to the point where they meet.

Previous Learning:

Students should have basic familiarity with simple shapes like squares, circles, and triangles, and understand basic concepts such as length and width.

Anticipated Challenges and Solutions:

  • Challenge: Students may confuse properties of 2-D shapes with those of 3-D shapes.
  • Solution: Use physical models to clearly demonstrate and compare the properties of each type of shape.

Beginning Activities (4 minutes):

  • Begin by showing a variety of both 2-D and 3-D shapes to the class and ask students to identify any they know.
  • Discuss the concept of dimensions and how it differentiates 2-D and 3-D shapes.

Middle Activities (32 minutes):

  1. Direct Instruction (8 minutes): Explain the properties of 3-D shapes (faces, edges, vertices) and 2-D shapes (sides, angles) using real shapes and diagrams on the whiteboard.
  2. Guided Practice (12 minutes): Distribute physical shapes to students and ask them to work in pairs to list properties and classify each shape as either 2-D or 3-D.
  3. Independent Practice (12 minutes): Students complete worksheets that involve drawing shapes from descriptions of their properties, identifying shapes from a mixture, and matching shapes with their names and properties.

End Activities (4 minutes):

  • Review and Quiz: Recap the day’s lesson with a quick interactive quiz on the whiteboard where students identify shapes and their properties based on pictures shown.
  • Reflection: Ask students to think of one object they can find at home or school that resembles any of the shapes they learned about today.

Assessment and Checks for Understanding:

  • Observations during the guided practice to ensure understanding of shape properties.
  • Review completed worksheets for accuracy in identifying and describing shapes.
  • Responses in the interactive quiz to assess immediate recall of information.

Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners:

  • Scaffolding: Provide simpler shapes and fewer properties for students who struggle.
  • Extension Activities: Challenge advanced students to find examples of where they might see complex 3-D shapes (e.g., icosahedrons) in real life, such as in architecture.

Teaching Notes:

  • Ensure that all students actively participate in handling and observing the physical shapes.
  • Use clear, simple language when describing properties and encourage students to ask questions.
  • Emphasize real-life applications to help solidify the concepts and make the lesson more engaging.

This lesson plan is designed to help Grade 3 students confidently identify, describe, and differentiate between various 2-D and 3-D shapes, enhancing their geometric understanding and spatial awareness.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.