Heightening young children's awareness of shape
The work described in this unit is concerned with heightening young children's awareness of shape. A number of exercises are suggested that include language development, collections and drawing, all designed to raise the children's consciousness of shape in the environment.
Talk about shapes with children. For example, talk about squares, oblongs (rectangles), circles and triangles. Can the children see any of these shapes in the room? You could make a list of different objects that include square, circle and triangle shapes.
Make a collection of these simple shapes for children to draw around. Before they begin, spend some time talking about how a line can journey all the way around the outside edge of a shape. When it has returned to the start it has made a shape. The line has enclosed the shape, making an outline. Talk about what is inside and outside the outline shape. Focus on the vocabulary using words like 'shape', 'edge', 'outline', 'inside' and 'outside'. After the discussion, children can draw around the simple shapes themselves. You could use a single dark washable marker pen for a graphic result or use lots of different colours. Children will naturally overlap the outlines of shapes. So more advanced children could show you how they have made brand new shapes where the outlines overlap. You could extend the activity by talking about how shapes 'overlap'.