Understanding Shapes with Grandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert

Lesson Overview

Discuss with students What are shapes? Why do we use shapes?

Read Grandfather Tang’s Story (Dragonfly Books), by Ann Tompert, and point out how shapes can be used to tell a story. Then you let students use tangrams to fill in animal shapes and chat with them about how the pieces line up and form bigger shapes. With older students, you could make several sheets of tangram sheets into a story.

Lesson Goals

  • Students can identify shapes and can use smaller shapes to form larger, composite shapes.
  • Students can explain various places they see shapes.

Lesson Plan Materials

  • Lesson Plan Instructions: Grandfather’s Tang Story (PDF) (courtesy of Imelda Amano)
  • Also need plastic tangram pieces or enough copies of a traced tangram sheet for students to cut out
  • Also need copies of animal shapes that fit the tangrams you have

 Common Core State Standards this Lesson Supports

  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.6 Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.2 Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.

AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

  • AASL 2.1.3 Use strategies to draw conclusions from information and apply knowledge to curricular areas, real world situations, and further investigations.

Note: Modified from Library Lesson Plan Library