In the book Teach Like a PIRATE by Dave Burgess, he talks about increasing student engagement by getting kiddos up and moving. That reminded me of an activity my 5th grade teachers recently did. They were studying attributes of 3-dimensional shapes (edges, faces, vertices, etc.), and when you think about how we usually have kids practice that skill, it involves a worksheet and a desk. We decided it would be more interesting to get the kiddos up and out of their desks. I went to my go-to website for math graphics, ClipArt ETC, and found some great images of pyramids and prisms. All their graphics come in three sizes, so I was able to get images large enough to fill a letter-sized page. For the activity, the teachers posted the pictures around the room. With music playing in the background, students moved from picture to picture, counting and recording the number of edges, faces, and vertices for each figure in their math journals. After students had completed the “gallery walk” they came back together to discuss their observations about the different shapes and look for connections and patterns. Talk about engagement!
Want to try it yourself? Click here to grab the file with the pictures. I’d love to hear how you use the graphics, so please comment! 🙂