Solid Figures: Manipulatives, Worksheets and a FREEBIE!

My students have been learning about solid figures and using some really great resources in the classroom. We began the unit of study by creating a chart of the six basic solid figures (cone, sphere, cube, pyramid, cylinder, and rectangular prism.) We discussed the shapes we see on the side of each figure, and listed examples real-world objects for each 3-D figure.

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. I receive a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog. 

When teaching this unit in the past, I always used the traditional wooden solid figure shapes. They’re very sturdy and are certainly helpful for illustrating the solid figures, but this year I acquired some new math manipulatives and they are fantastic! This one set is particularly fantastic:
Solid figures ideas and resources for early elementary classrooms
I truly cannot say enough good things about this set. It was a little pricey, but they are SO worth it. Each figure is represented in a sturdy clear plastic shell that opens up. Inside there is a flexible plastic representation that unfolds to reveal the shapes on each surface of the figure. you can’t tell from the photo, but the inner pieces are also quite durable.

My students predicted what the figure would like when opened (what shapes they thought they would see, and how many of each kind). It was an excellent higher-thinking activity.

I use a variety of solid figure manipulatives (scroll down for product information) as well as photos of real-world objects for each in my classroom. These materials were added to my classroom math center for independent exploration by students.

Solid-Figure-sorting

I also created a Solid Figure unit plan to use with my students. It’s appropriate for Grades K-2 and is differentiated to accommodate students with varied ability levels.

The unit plan includes:
2 and 3 column sorting activites
2 and 3 circle Venn diagram sorting
shapes vs. solid figures
roll, stack, and slide solid figure sorts
solid figure drawing lessons
4 pages of mix & match assessments
solid-figure-cover-pic

Purchase my Solid Figures Unit for Grades K-1-2 from Teachers Pay Teachers

Here’s a peek at just a few of the activities included:

Solid Figure Tracing to Determine Shapes on Flat Sides

Solid-Figure-Trace

Small solid figures are available on Amazon

Slide, Roll and Stack 3-Column Sorting Activity
(easy for Kindergarten students)

solid-figure-sorting1

Venn Diagram for Figures that can Roll and Slide

Solid-Figures-Venn-Diagram-

Drawing Lessons: Cone (this one is pretty easy)

Draw-a-cone

Drawing Lessons: Pyramid (this one is more difficult)

draw-a-pyramid
Ready for that FREEBIE?

I created a PDF to help you create this super-cute Solid Figures chart. The information for each solid figure is color-coded for easy student reference. Just download and print the document, cut the pieces apart, and you will be ready to glue them onto chart paper.

Solid-Figures-Chart-Freebie
This has been a fabulous unit to teach in my Kindergarten classroom. The students loved the topic and I was thrilled to provide them with high-quality resources. Do you have any favorite solid figure materials or activities from your own classroom? I would love to hear your ideas!

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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17 Responses

  1. Hello,
    Is there any way I could get this download? I don’t have or want a FB account….but I really LOVE this chart?
    Thanks so much!
    cc

  2. I just love your Freebie! THANK YOU!! I am also having a hard time downloading. I sent you an e-mail and would be very grateful if you could e-mail it to me. 🙂

  3. I saw your blog on Pinterest. I’ve never seen the folding polyhedrons before and love them. Just a correction on your chart, polyhedrons (solid shapes) do NOT have sides; they have faces. I know that sounds picky but I teach higher level math, and believe that using correct math vocabulary on every level is important.

  4. This is such a great resource! I was wondering where you purchased your smaller geometric shapes (in the white basket)? I didn’t see it listed anywhere on here. Thanks so much! 🙂

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)

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