• Begin by asking students to name some shapes. As they do, write the names of the shapes on the board. When you have a list of names of shapes, ask students to tell you how to draw each of them (pretending that you don’t know what any of the shapes are). They will most likely have some trouble telling you exactly how to draw each shape. Then, since your shapes will most likely turn out looking very odd, tell students that we need to learn what the attributes of each shape are. Introduce the meaning of the word “attributes”.
  • Then, have students gather to listen to a read aloud of the book, The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Dodds. Allow students to listen and identify the shapes they see on each page. Then, describe the shapes together, pointing out that each shape has sides and corners. You can also discuss the size and color of the shapes.


Then define together what an attribute is:

“In math, an attribute is something that you can say a shape has.”

Learning Objectives

  • The learner will be able to distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., number of sides and vertices) and non-defining attributes (e.g., color, size of shapes).
  • The learner will be able to build and/or draw shapes according to the defining attributes given to them.

For the full lesson plan, download the PDF.