K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • use a Venn diagram as a method of sorting objects by more that one attribute.
  • recognize, identify, and describe plane geometric figures.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

45 minutes


  • 2 large Hula Hoops
  • A collection of circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, trapezoids, and parallelograms (These shapes should be different sizes and colors.)
  • A collection of smaller shapes as the ones listed above for assessment purposes.
  • A Venn diagram mat for each student.


Students should have had experience using a Venn diagram. Students should be familiar with the geometric shapes to be reviewed in this activity.


  1. Class will form a circle on the carpet.
  2. Teacher will hold up a sample of each geometric shape and review the attributes of the shape by calling on students to name the shape and describe the shape until all shapes have been reviewed.
  3. Teacher puts one Hula Hoop in the middle of the circle and instructs all students holding triangles to place those in the Hula Hoop. Ask students to describe the characteristics of the shapes in the hoop. Teacher has these students remove shapes from hoop.
  4. Teacher follows this procedure for sorting several shapes and colors.
  5. Teacher forms Venn diagram on the floor by overlapping the Hula Hoops. Teacher instructs students holding a blue shape to place it inside one of the hoops.
  6. Teacher then instructs students holding a triangle to place it inside the other hoop.
  7. Teacher then leads discussion of the shapes that are inside the intersection of the two hoops. Students are led to describe the shape by attributes.
  8. Teacher has these students remove their shapes from hoops by calling out attributes of the shapes, such as blue triangles, blue squares, blue trapezoids until all shapes are removed.
  9. Teacher continues to have students place shapes in the Venn diagram by placing shapes of one color in one hoop and particular shapes in other hoop, with shapes with both attributes in the intersection.
  10. Teacher closes lesson by describing the attributes of the geometric shapes and collecting those from students.


  • Teacher will assess use of Venn diagram by checking for correct placement of shapes in Venn diagram constructed by Hula Hoops.
  • Teacher will assess recognition, identification, and description of geometric figures as students place shapes according to attributes and explain their reasoning for placement of shapes.
  • Individual students will be given a variety of smaller geometric shapes and be asked to place them on a Venn diagram mat and explain placement in a follow up activity.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Kindergarten

        • Geometry
          • K.G.2Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
          • K.G.4Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 1

  • Goal 3: Geometry - The learner will identify, describe, draw, and build basic geometric figures.
    • Objective 3.01: Identify, build, draw and name parallelograms, squares, trapezoids, and hexagons.
    • Objective 3.03: Compare and contrast geometric figures.
  • Goal 5: Algebra - The learner will demonstrate an understanding of classification and patterning.
    • Objective 5.02: Use Venn diagrams to illustrate similarities and differences in two sets.