• supporting creativity in the classroom and beyond •

• supporting creativity in the classroom and beyond •

Sunday, November 30, 2008

shape tracing

These Kindergarten shape tracing designs are made by tracing the same shape template several times, overlaying the shape in different directions to create a variety of interior shapes and spaces. Each table group has a variety of sizes of cardboard or plastic squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles to choose from. When giving directions, I emphasize that they should use only one shape to do all their tracings; I demonstrate this for them using a dark colored crayon for the tracing lines. I point out the variety of shapes and spaces created by the overlapping contour lines of the original shapes, and invite them to color in the spaces however they want to. I also demonstrate cutting the entire design around the outside and gluing it onto a background color that is present in the colored areas.

Interestingly, students will tackle this activity in different ways. Some want to trace the shapes next to each other rather than overlapping. Some like to make large spaces while others will make small ones. Some students take the time to select certain colors for the coloring part, or approach the coloring in a methodical way: starting with the smallest spaces, or starting with the ones nearest the center and radiating out, or starting with the outside spaces and working their way to the center. Some students jump all over the place, switching colors with each new space, while other students might use the same color for several spaces before choosing a new color.

Some students need a contour line to help them cut all around the outside of the shapes, while others grasp the concept right away. It helps to ask each student to trace with their finger where they are going to cut. There are always a couple of students, at least, who cut into the design, so it's important to keep a watchful eye and to be available with scotch tape.

When sharing these, I like to show two or three at a time and ask students to compare the colors, or count the triangles, or find other shapes that have been created by overlapping the original shape. This activity takes less than an hour, uses no special materials other than the shapes for tracing, and can be extended in a variety of ways. Students can be given limited colors to use, they can use chalk or watercolors in the spaces instead of coloring them, or they can be asked to make patterns or do rubbings inside the spaces.

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