Aboriginal Perspectives


3D Shapes

Jessica Wesaquate

Subject Area:



Shape and Space (3-D Objects and 2-D Shapes)

Grade Level:



Main Objective:

Students will describe the characteristics of 3-D objects and 2-D shapes, and analyze the relationships among them.

General Outcome:

Name, describe and construct a variety of 3-D objects and 2-D shapes.

Specific Outcomes:

  1. Explore faces, vertices and edges of 3-D objects.

  2. Identity, name and describe specific 3-D objects as:

    • Cubes

    • Spheres

    • Cones

    • Cylinders

    • Pyramids

  3. Build a skeleton of a 3-D object, and describe how the skeleton relates to the object.


Activity One:
Glen Anaquod still image: Raising the flaps, wooden cone, and Bentwood box (online picture, printed picture, paper cut-out), empty containers

Activity Two:
Cube, square prism (box) – picture of a Bentwood box, square pyramid, toothpicks, marshmallows

Activity Three:
Play D’oh/Plasticine/Modeling Clay, toothpicks, sphere, cone, cylinder

Activity/Lesson Ideas:

  1. Show students still image from the Glen Anaquod tipi raising “raising the flaps.” What shape do students see? Now take a look at a wooden cone. Allow students to discuss the parallelisms. Ask students how many faces and vertices the cone has.

    Bentwood Box - Show students an online picture, a printed picture, or you could even mimic and create your own. Have students determine how many edges the object has. Can students find any empty containers in the classroom that have a matching number of edges?

  2. For this activity you will need a cube, square prism and square pyramid. For Aboriginal content, print off pictures of Bentwood boxes to represent the square prism. Have students compare how these three shapes are alike and different.

    Take the picture of the Bentwood box. Have students estimate how many toothpicks and marshmallows would be required to build a skeleton of the Bentwood box. Build the skeleton. Ask students to discuss how their skeleton is like the skeletons of the cube and square prism. What would the differences?

  3. Have students research the following First Nations items, or find pictures of the following: Star Blanket, a pair of Cree moccasins, and a piece of West Coast art.

    • What 3-D objects can the students find?

    Using Play D’oh/Plasticine/Modeling Clay students can create a sphere, cone and cylinder.