Geometry Games for 2nd Grade
Geometry – that is, 2D and 3D shapes and attributes – is one of my absolute favorite units to teach in math. This is partly because geometry in 2nd grade is a very visual subject, and I am a visual learner. Geometry is also very hands-on and active for your physical learners as well! Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite geometry games for 2nd grade that I think your students will love.
5 Low-Prep Geometry Games
These are some of my favorite games that help students gain a better understanding of shapes and their attributes. The best part about these games is that they require very little prep or effort on your end!
1. Shape Walk
A shape walk is kind of like a cake walk, but with shapes. This activity can be used for 2D shapes, 3D shapes, or a mix of both. To play, all you will need is several pieces of paper, each with a picture of a shape OR the name of a shape (or, do a mix of both!). Students will need whiteboards and dry erase markers.
To play, place the pieces of paper in a circle on the floor for students to walk on (you may wish to laminate them for durability). Play music. As the music plays, students will walk around the papers while holding their whiteboard and marker. When the music stops, so do they. The paper they have landed on will indicate what they need to write or draw.
If their paper has the name of a shape, they will draw an example of the shape named. If their paper has the picture of a shape, they will write the name. Once students have answered on their whiteboard, they can turn and talk to the person next to them about what they drew or wrote.
For a fun and challenging twist, play this game using attributes instead. Each piece of paper will list an attribute of a shape (i.e. 2 pairs of parallel sides), and students must draw a shape that has that attribute.
2. Who Am I?
We’ve talked about Who Am I? a lot, because it is such a versatile game! Who Am I? is a simple game where every student is given a word or number without knowing what it is. They then must go around the student and ask questions to other students and try to figure out what their word is.
To play this with geometry, each student would be given the name of a shape. Again, this game can be played with 2D or 3D shapes, or a mix of both. Place the shapes on students’ backs or foreheads where they can’t see. Students will then mingle around the room, asking yes or no questions about their shape’s attributes to try to figure out the name of the shape.
For example, they may ask, “Does my shape have more than 4 sides?” or “Does my shape always have right angles?” The questions must be able to be answered with a simple yes or no.
3. Mystery Shape
Another one of my favorite geometry games for 2nd grade is Mystery Shape. This game is best played with 3D shapes. You will need geometric solids (these are my favorite*) and a paper bag.
To play, place the geometric solids in the bag (you may wish to place each shape in a separate bag to make it a bit easier). Students will reach into the bag and grab a shape without looking to see what shape they have or pulling it out of the bag. Using their sense of touch, they will describe the attributes of the shape to the class. For example, they may feel whether or not it is curved, or if it has any vertices.
After they have described the shape as best as they can to the class, students can discuss what shape they think it is. Once students have voted on the shape they think it is, reveal the shape to see if they guessed correctly.
Another one of those really versatile games that I’ve talked about and used a lot is charades. Charades can easily be used to practice shapes, however it is best used if multiple students can be acting at once.
For shapes, simply prepare several slips of paper each with the name of a shape. This is best done with 2D shapes, but you may be able to get creative and use some 3D shapes as well. Students will be divided into 2 teams and take turns “acting out” the shape that they receive by using their bodies to form the shape on the floor. Any students on the team not participating in making the shape will try to guess what the shape is.
If they guess correctly within 1 minute, the team gets a point. The opposing team is allowed one guess to try and steal the point if they did not guess correctly. No points are awarded if neither team guesses correctly. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
5. Scavenger Hunt
Another one of my favorite geometry games for 2nd grade is a shape scavenger hunt. This simply involves having students look around the room and identify the shapes that make up various objects in the room. You can do this with 2D or 3D shapes or both.
Students can look around the classroom, playground, or other area of the school for objects made up of different shapes. Alternatively, you could provide students with an image and have them write down all the shapes they see in the image. This could be a great warm-up at the beginning of the day, to display a picture to the class and have them write down as many shapes as they can find in 5 minutes.
Teaching geometry should be fun for both you and your students! And it shouldn’t be hard to make it fun. I hope these geometry games have inspired you and that your students enjoy playing them as much as I hope you’ll enjoy teaching them!
What are your favorite geometry games for 2nd grade?
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