Geometric Shapes Collage

Smithsonian Institution Libraries

These exercises and lesson plans are designed to accompany and enrich the study and discussion of the June 2004 Transit of Venus.


geometric shapes


Students will identify different geometric shapes and use the differences in the building of collages.

Grade Level:



  • Discriminate between different geometric shapes
  • Define and name shapes
  • Compare the attributes of the shapes

Subject Area or Standard:

Mathematics and Art

Materials Needed:

  • Stencils or templates of geometric shapes
  • Poster board or construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or paste









  1. Distribute materials.
  2. Pass out stencils or templates one at a time, naming the shape and probing students regarding its attributes.
  3. Students trace the shape and cut it out.
  4. Pass out solid colored poster board or construction paper (black would be nice).
  5. Students use the different shapes to form a collage. They must use at least one of each shape in their collages.
  6. Students relate the shapes to familiar objects, e.g., the octagon to a stop sign.



Students construct a table of attributes for geometric shapes. Shapes are in the rows and the columns would be for number of sides, the number and type of corners, etc.

Students draw circles using string, cardboard, a pin and a pencil. Then draw ellipses using string, cardboard, two pins and a pencil.

  1. Tie an 8 inch length of string into a loop. Push a pin into a piece of cardboard. Place the loope of string around the ping. Use a pencil inside the loope to trace out a circle as you pull the loop tight.
  2. Place a second pin about 2 inches from the first pin. With the loop of string enclosing both pins, trace an ellipse.
  3. Relate to planetary orbits.

The Technology Teacher, April 1999, International Technology Education Association.