Short Blocks

Maths Year 1/2 Summer Shape, Time and Data

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Exploring shape properties (suggested as 3 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1
Explain that a tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle made from seven 2-D shapes. Give each pair of children a set, ask them to cut them up and then mix them up.
1. Try to rearrange them as a square…
2. Recreate a displayed outline picture of a dog.
Group Activities:
Y1/Y2 -- Whole class activity: Children use tangram pieces to recreate pictures.

Day 2
Show a selection of 3-D shapes, discuss shapes of faces, and count the number of edges. Show a film clip of cubes and cuboids in a kitchen.
Group Activities: T with Y1 or Y2
Y1 /Y2 -- ‘Shape competition’ – which shape has the most faces and which has the most vertices? (Y2: and edges).

Day 3
Show a film clip to introduce the concept of nets. Show three nets, discussing which could make a cube. Show a tetrahedron made from a net; name and count its faces.
Group Activities: T with Y1 or Y2
Y1 /Y2 -- Investigate which nets will fold to make a complete cube and a tetrahedron.

You Will Need

  • ‘7-piece Tangram’ (one for each pair of children, preferably copied onto card - see resources)
  • ‘Tangram dog’ (see resources)
  • Online tangrams game
  • ‘4-piece Tangram’ (see resources)
  • ‘4-piece Tangram pictures’ (see resources)
  • ‘4-piece Tangram answers’ (see resources)
  • ‘7-piece Tangram pictures’ (see resources)
  • ‘7-piece Tangram answers’ (see resources)
  • 3-D shapes, including tetrahedra
  • Baked bean tin (or other cylindrical tin)
  • Ball/globe; Cereal packet
  • Coloured stickers; Sticky tack; Sticky notes
  • ‘Nets’ Sheets 1–9 (see resources)
  • Scissors; Sticky tape

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Properties of 2-D shapes

Day 2
Guess the 2-D shape

Day 3
Properties of 3-D shapes


Day 1
Y1/Y2: There is no worksheet for Day 1. Use Group Activity resources.

Day 2
Y1: Match 2-D faces to 3-D shapes.
Y2: Count faces and vertices of 3-D shapes.

Day 3
Y1/Y2: Identify which nets will make cubes/tetrahedra.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving


  • Look at the shape pictured (see illustration on download).
    Imagine it turns through half a complete turn. Draw what it looks like now.
  • Find an example of each of these shapes in your classroom and draw it.
    1. Cylinder
    2. Cube
    3. Cone
    4. Sphere
  • What shape is a cereal box? How many edges does it have?

This unit has no separate problem-solving activities for Y2.

Y1/Y2 In-depth Investigation
Use the Group Activity from Day 1