Short Blocks

Maths Year 1/2 Spring Shape

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

2-D shapes (suggested as 3 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1
Children close their eyes while you put a shape in a feely bag. Describe it. Children work in pairs to pick up a shape like the one you are describing. Describe and name different pentagons, hexagons and octagons.
Further Teaching with Y2
Display, discuss and note similarities in the ‘family’ of regular shapes, e.g. heptagon, octagon, nonagon and decagon.
Group Activities: T with Y1 or Y2
Y1 -- Make gummed shape pictures and describe the properties of the shapes that are used.
Y2 -- Sort shapes into hexagons, pentagons and octagons. Some children will explore making shapes using skipping ropes.

Day 2
Spot shapes around the classroom. Then slide shapes slowly behind a ‘wall’, children guess what shapes they are, also discussing what shapes they cannot be.
Group Activities: T with Y1 or Y2
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation ‘Shape wheels’ as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
Y1 -- Describe shapes to a partner then draw the shapes on whiteboards.
Y2 -- Draw a range of different pentagons, hexagons and octagons. Some children will put squares, rectangles and triangles together to create new shapes.

Day 3
Draw a range of squares, triangle, circles and rectangles of different proportions and orientations. Sort them into squares, triangles, circles and rectangles.
Further Teaching with Y2
Sort 4-sided shapes in Carroll diagrams.
Group Activities: T with Y2
Y1 – Sort and/or describe 2-D shapes according to given criteria.
Y2 -- Sort regular and irregular shapes into Carroll diagrams.

You Will Need

  • Lots of regular and irregular 2-D shapes, feely bag
  • Gummed shapes (or shape printing blocks)
  • Coloured card/paper; Skipping ropes; Box
  • ‘Match the shapes to the right set’ (see resources)
  • ‘Guess my shape’ sheet (see resources)
  • Geoboards and elastic bands or ‘Dotty paper’ (see resources)
  • ‘Sorting shapes’ (see resources)
  • Post-it™ notes; Large paper

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1

Day 2
Properties of shapes

Day 3
Sorting coins


Day 1
Y1: Cut out shapes; write sentences/ words to describe them.
Y2: Use colour to sort shapes into pentagons, hexagons and octagons.

Day 2
Y1: Match circles, triangles, squares and rectangles to the correct sets.
Y2: Draw different pentagons, hexagons and octagons.

Day 3
Y1: Sort shapes into those with 1-4 or >4 sides.
Y2: Sort shapes into a Carroll diagram.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving


  • My shape has 4 corners and 4 sides. Draw a shape that it might be.
  • On squared paper, draw 2 different squares and colour them in. Can you say why they are definitely both squares?
  • Name a shape that has:
    No straight sides.
    3 sides, all straight.
    4 sides where 2 are longer than the other 2.
  • Copy this table:
all straight sides1 or more curved sides
  • Identify 'flat' objects around the class, e.g. the clock face. Draw them in the table in the correct column.
  • What are the possible headings on the example table (see download)?


  • Draw 3 differently-shaped irregular hexagons. Draw another that has one line of symmetry.
  • True or false?
    All hexagons have straight sides.
    A pentagon is always house-shaped.
    Any shape with 4 sides and 4 right angles is a type of rectangle.
    A hexagon could have 4 right angles.

In-depth investigation: Shape wheels
Children make a sequence of coloured shapes, changing one attribute at a time so that the sequence can end where it started, so forming a circular sequence.

Extra Support

Shape Snakes
Making repeating shape patterns.

Jig Shapes
Describing shapes from a card so the rest of the group can work out what it is. Jig Shapes from