Aboriginal Perspectives


Exploring Shape and Space

Andrea Rogers and Jessica Wesaquate


Shape and Space


Sort a given set of familiar 3-D objects using a single attribute such as size or shape and explain the sorting rule.

Determine the difference between two given pre-sorted sets by explaining a sorting rule used to sort them.


Models or Photos of different Indigenous traditional dwellings and information behind them.   http://www.native-languages.org/houses.htm
Instructions and Templates for Students to create their own home

Pre-requisite Knowledge:

A brief understanding of categorizing
An understanding about different cultures
A brief overview of where each of the homes is from.


The teacher can start by using introducing familiar shapes that the students have already seen and getting the students to categorize them

Introduce the idea that shapes are in the everyday world and can be found everywhere.

Describe each one of the chosen Indigenous homes and explain the background behind each one in a matter that is suitable for your class. Talk about how many people would live in each home, what materials they used, etc.  While describing each of the homes, discuss as a class what kind of shapes and patterns they see. This can be easier with models but can still be done with photos.

Ask students to put the models or photos into groups based on one characteristic. Ask the students to explain why they sorted them like that. This can be done as a large class, individually and in small groups depending on the class.
Ask the students to repeat it again as necessary
Give students a choice to build one of the homes that they looked at. Each student can build his/her home. While doing this activity, ask them questions about what they see in their home for shapes. Students can also decorate their home in anyway they seem fit.

Related Subjects:

If students are already learning about different cultures in social studies, then it is easy for students to see the relationship between the two topics. 

Students also have the opportunity to be creative when decorating their home.