Short Blocks

Maths Year 3/4 Summer Shape

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

Exploring shape properties (suggested as 5 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1
Revise symmetry. Children discuss and identify lines of symmetry in regular and irregular shapes.
Group Activities: T with Y3
Y3 -- Identify whether shapes are symmetrical. Draw the lines of symmetry on 2-D shapes. -- Draw one half of a shape for a partner to complete symmetrically. Begin to explore shapes with two lines of symmetry.
Y4 --Identify whether shapes are symmetrical. Draw the lines of symmetry on 2-D shapes. -- Identify lines of symmetry in regular and irregular 2-D shapes.

Day 2
Use the ‘Hamilton clock’ as basis for modelling quarter and half turns, clockwise and anti-clockwise.
Further Teaching with Y4
Children discuss and compare sizes of five displayed angles, then classify as right, acute or obtuse.
Group Activities: T with Y4
Y3 -- Follow and give instructions to practise making quarter, half and three-quarter turns.
Y4 -- Recognise and compare acute and obtuse angles and right angles.

Day 3
Explore images and patterns turned through successive right angles.
Further Teaching with Y4
Revise names and properties of the different families of triangles.
Group Activities: T with Y3
Y3 -- Create patterns by rotating shapes through successive right angles.
Y4 -- Explore the angle properties of different types of triangles.

Day 4
Model using IWB set square to find angles greater or less than 90°; use vocabulary acute and obtuse.
Group Activities: T with Y3
Y3 -- Find examples of different types of angle in the classroom and around the school. -- Classify angles <90° as ‘acute’ and >90° as ‘obtuse’.
Y4 -- Investigate the angle properties of quadrilaterals.

Day 5
Model parallel and perpendicular lines using examples around the room.
Further Teaching with Y4
Explore properties of quadrilaterals; name them. Sort into a Venn diagram.
Group Activities: T with Y3
Y3 Use the ‘My Square, Not Yours!’ in-depth problem-solving investigation below as today’s group activity. Or, use this activity
-- Sort shapes into a Venn diagram based on their properties
Y4 Use the ‘Rabbit Run’ in-depth problem-solving investigation from NRICH as today’s group activity. Or, use this activity:
-- Compare and classify quadrilaterals, based on various properties.

You Will Need

  • Whiteboards and pens
  • Symmetry ITP, IWB set square
  • Mirrors, rulers, set squares, scissors, protractors
  • Set of 2-D shapes (regular, irregular, symmetrical, not symmetrical)
  • ‘Shapes for sorting’ (see resources)
  • ‘Hamilton clock’ (see resources)
  • ‘Animal cards’ (see resources)
  • ‘Comparing and ordering angles’ (see resources)
  • Coloured card, squares of card, brass fasteners, sheets of paper, coloured pencils
  • cm2 paper
  • Elastic bands, geoboards
  • ‘Perpendicular and parallel lines’ (see resources)
  • ‘Sorting shapes’ (see resources)
  • ‘Sorting quadrilaterals’ (see resources)
  • Venn rings (or hoops)
  • Sticky notes

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Subtraction facts

Day 2
Add multiples of 10

Day 3
Multiply/ divide by 10

Day 4
Compare pairs of numbers with 2 decimal places

Day 5
Division fact bingo for the 8x table


Day 1
Y3: Symmetrical shape.
Y4: Symmetrical shapes.

Day 2
Y3: Angles and turns.
Y4: Naming angles.

Day 3
Y3: Right angle turns.
Y4: Triangles and angles.

Day 4
Y3: Angles.
Y4: Angles in quadrilaterals.

Day 5
Y3: Vertical, horizontal, perpendicular and parallel lines.
Y4: Sorting quadrilaterals.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving


  • Draw a 2-D shape with at least 1 curved side and 2 lines of symmetry.
  • How many lines of symmetry in a regular pentagon?
  • Can you draw a…
    -- 4-sided shape with exactly 2 right angles?
    -- Hexagon with every side a different length?
    -- Regular octagon?
  • Draw a shape with 2 right angles that is not a square. Identify any angle in this shape that is more than 90 degrees.
  • Set a clock to 3 o’clock. Move the minute hand clockwise through 3 right angles. What is the time? What is the angle between the hands of a clock at 6 o’clock?


  • Draw a shape with exactly four lines of symmetry. It does not need to be a polygon.
  • By shading just one ‘cell’ on a 3 by 3 square grid, how many different symmetrical patterns can you make? Be careful not to count reflections or rotations of patterns already made…
    How many different patterns can you make if you are allowed to shade 2, 3, 4 or 5 cells?
    Can you make a prediction about how the number of patterns with 6 cells shaded will relate to the number with 3 cells shaded?
  • True or false?
    - A triangle cannot have two right angles.
    - A triangle with one right angle cannot be isosceles.
    - A quadrilateral cannot have exactly three right angles.
    - A quadrilateral can always be divided into two triangles by drawing just one straight line.

Y3 In-depth investigation: My Square, Not Yours!
Children draw a succession of perpendicular and parallel lines to create squares.

Y4 In-depth investigation: Rabbit Run
Help Ahmed to build a quadrilateral-shaped run for his rabbit using planks of different lengths. Rabbit Run from

Extra Support

Y3 Transformations on a Pegboard
Explore the properties of 2-D shapes using an interactive pegboard. Transformations on a Pegboard from

Y4 Jig Shapes
Complete the shape jigsaw and describe the shapes for a partner. Can they guess which shape you are describing? Jig Shapes from