Saturday, May 12, 2012

Solid Figures: Manipulatives, Worksheets and a FREEBIE!

My students have been learning about solid figures and using some really great resources in the classroom. We began the unit of study by creating a chart of the six basic solid figures (cone, sphere, cube, pyramid, cylinder, and rectangular prism.) We discussed the shapes we see on the side of each figure, and listed examples real-world objects for each 3-D figure.

When teaching this unit in the past, I always used the traditional wooden solid figure shapes. They're very sturdy and are certainly helpful for illustrating the solid figures, but this year I acquired some new math manipulatives and they are fantastic! This one set is particularly fantastic:

Solid figures ideas and resources for early elementary classrooms

I truly cannot say enough good things about this set. It was a little pricey, but they are SO worth it. Each figure is represented in a sturdy clear plastic shell that opens up. Inside there is a flexible plastic representation that unfolds to reveal the shapes on each surface of the figure. you can't tell from the photo, but the inner pieces are also quite durable.

My students predicted what the figure would like when opened (what shapes they thought they would see, and how many of each kind). It was an excellent higher-thinking activity.

I use a variety of solid figure manipulatives (scroll down for product information) as well as photos of real-world objects for each in my classroom. These materials were added to my classroom math center for independent exploration by students.

Create a Solid Figure Learning Station in the classroom where students can sort photos and objects by shape

 I also created a Solid Figure unit plan to use with my students. It's appropriate for Grades K-2 and is differentiated to accommodate students with varied ability levels.

The unit plan includes:
2 and 3 column sorting activites
2 and 3 circle Venn diagram sorting
shapes vs. solid figures
roll, stack, and slide solid figure sorts
solid figure drawing lessons
4 pages of mix & match assessments
Solid figures ideas and resources for early elementary classrooms, $8
Purchase my Solid Figures Unit for Grades K-1-2 from 

Here's a peek at just a few of the activities included:

Solid Figure Tracing to Determine Shapes on Flat Sides

Solid figures ideas and resources for early elementary classrooms

Slide, Roll and Stack 3-Column Sorting Activity 
(easy for Kindergarten students)

Solid figures ideas and resources for early elementary classrooms

Venn Diagram for Figures that can Roll and Slide

Solid figures ideas and resources for early elementary classrooms

Drawing Lessons: Cone (this one is pretty easy)

Solid figures ideas and resources for early elementary classrooms

Drawing Lessons: Pyramid (this one is more difficult)

Solid figures ideas and resources for early elementary classrooms

I use these products in my own classroom and I absolutely love them.

 Ready for that FREEBIE?

I created a PDF to help you create this super-cute Solid Figures chart. The information for each solid figure is color-coded for easy student reference.  Just download and print the document, cut the pieces apart, and you will be ready to glue them onto chart paper.

FREE pieces to create a solid figures color-coordinated anchor chart for the classroom
Click the image to download your FREEBIE!
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This has been a fabulous unit to teach in my Kindergarten classroom. The students loved the topic and I was thrilled to provide them with high-quality resources. Do you have any favorite solid figure materials or activities from your own classroom? I would love to hear your ideas!


  1. Hello,
    Is there any way I could get this download? I don't have or want a FB account....but I really LOVE this chart?
    Thanks so much!

  2. cc-
    You can email me at and I will send you the download directly.

    you're welcome. Enjoy the freebie!

  3. Hi Jessica,
    I sent you my email....I thank you so very, very much!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thank you for sharing! I had a hard time drawing my own pictures for the kids this year. Now they can help me paste! :)

  6. Thank you so much for the freebie! I can't wait to use this in my classroom!

  7. You are all very welcome! I'm so glad it is helpful to you!

  8. I just love your Freebie! THANK YOU!! I am also having a hard time downloading. I sent you an e-mail and would be very grateful if you could e-mail it to me. :)

    1. Thank you for e-mailing the shapes! I am really excited about making this chart!!! You ROCK!

  9. Hi there, I am really interested in your chart,but i don't want to subscribe .Can u email it to me ? many thanks for it

  10. I saw your blog on Pinterest. I've never seen the folding polyhedrons before and love them. Just a correction on your chart, polyhedrons (solid shapes) do NOT have sides; they have faces. I know that sounds picky but I teach higher level math, and believe that using correct math vocabulary on every level is important.

  11. Thanks so much! I really appreciate you sharing your work. This is a great chart!


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