Aboriginal Perspectives


Talking about Shape

Andrea Rogers and Jessica Wesaquate


Shape and Space

Grade Level:


Related Lessons:

"Shape" and "Felt Activity: Exploring Shape"


Students will be able to explore circular items in both indoor and outdoor environments.
Students will be able to use recycled items to create a circle on their paper.
Students will be able to discover the definition of a circle through this activity.


circular everyday items (examples found below), paper, pencils, rulers,
tipi raising video clip

Using everyday circular items teaches students to re-use man-made items.

Recommended video
clip for this activity:

Video Eight. You may want to pause the clip or support the lesson with photographs.

The tipi is composed of several shapes (see lesson titled "felt activity"). You will notice that the base of the tipi is circular. Have students explore the concept of the circle. You can introduce the topic by having students look around the room to spot out any circular items. When they are out on the playground have them search for circular shapes in their environment.


Have students bring a circular item from home, such as old lids from yogurt, margarine, or coffee tins. In their math journals, or duo-tangs, have students record as many characteristics as they can about their item. After they have completed this, have them trace their circular shape on white paper using their pencils.


As the students will observe in the video-clips, there are eleven poles around the tipi. The other two poles are used for the wind flaps. Have the students make eleven dots around their circle. Using their rulers, have students find the centre of their circle and mark it in with their pencil. Now have them draw lines from their eleven dots around the circle to the centre point. Using their rulers, have students measure each line and record the measurements. What do they observe? Have them share their observations with a partner.

Discuss with your students what the formal definition of a circle is. Informally the students have discovered the definition of a circle through this activity. Recall with the students what they have learned in today's lesson, by having a classroom discussion or having them record the things they learned in their math logs or in an exit note.