Geometry Around Your School

By: Diedre Allen



Teacher will read aloud "The Greedy Triangle" by Marilyn Burns. After read aloud the class will create a list of the geometric shapes from the story. Students will add geometric shapes to the list that were not included in the book (e.g., three dimensional objects). Then students will work with a partner to walk around the school campus to find real-life examples of their assigned geometric shape and take digital photographs of the objects. Students will create a class book about the objects and use their digital photographs to illustrate the book.

Keywords: geometry; digital photography; narrative writing


1. Students will be able to identify real-world objects that are geometric shapes.
2. Students will be able to collaborate to create a class narrative.
3. Students will be able to use a digital camera to take photographs.


Standard 5: - Geometry and Measurement (MA.4.G.5)
3. Identify and build a three-dimensional object from a two-dimensional representation of that object and vice versa. (MA.4.G.5.3)
Standard 1: The student understands and applies media, techniques, and processes. (VA.A.1.2)
1. uses and organizes two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, techniques, tools, and processes to produce works of art that are derived from personal experience, observation, or imagination. (VA.A.1.2.1)
2. uses control in handling tools and materials in a safe and responsible manner. (VA.A.1.2.2)
4. uses good craftsmanship in a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media. (VA.A.1.2.4)
Creative: The student develops and demonstrates creative writing. (LA.4.4.1)
The student will:
1. write narratives based on real or imagined ideas, events, or observations that include characters, setting, plot, sensory details, a logical sequence of events, and a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience, and (LA.


Academic Preparation

1. Students should know how to use a digital camera to take photographs and download them to a computer.
2. Students should have been exposed to two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes.


1. Teacher will read aloud "The Greedy Triangle" by Marilyn Burns.
2. As a class, create a list of the two-dimensional shapes from the story. Add three-dimensional shapes to the list that students know from previous lessons.
3. Students will be paired and assigned a shape. Each pair will take turns walking around the school to locate objects that represent their assigned shape. They will take pictures of the objects with their digital camera.
4. Students will download photographs on a class computer. As a class, review the photos in order from the fewest number of sides and dimensions to the greatest number of sides and dimensions.
5. Using the photographs as a guide, write a class story about the journey of the main character (one of the shapes; modeled after "The Greedy Triangle").
6. Story can be published in multiple forms: as a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation; as a Word or Pages document; handwritten and bound into a book.


1. The teacher will assess students' knowledge of geometric shapes by verifying the photographs taken are authentic representations of their assigned shape.
2. Students writing will be assessed based on participation in the shared writing activity.
3. Students' use of the digital cameras will be assessed based on the camera being returned in the same condition it was checked out and the photographs being focused and downloaded to the computer properly.

Extensions and Adaptations

1. If access to digital cameras is not available, students can locate pictures in magazines to represent their assigned shape to cut out and use to illustrate the class book.
2. Students could each create their own shape story and find pictures of all shapes.
1. Students who finish taking photographs of their assigned shape can locate objects and take pictures of additional shapes.

Estimated Lesson Duration

3hr 00min


  • Burns, Marilyn. (1995). The Greedy Triangle. Scholastic Press. ISBN-10: 0590489917