Aboriginal Perspectives


Shape and Space

Jessica Wesaquate


Shape and space (3-D objects and 2-D shapes)

Grade Level:


Subject Area:



Main Objectives:

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

General Outcome:

Sort, classify and build real-world objects.

Specific Outcomes:

  1. Identify, sort, and classify 3-D objects in the environment.

  2. Describe, and discuss orally, objects, using such words as big, little, round, like a box, like a can.

  3. Build 3-D objects.


Cans, cones, balls, glass, and other objects, Tim Haywahe Video: Finished or still image of finished tipi

Aboriginal Content:
Use an old can of berries with the label still attached. Talk about traditional foods that Aboriginal people eat, one being the berry.
Show students a still image of a tipi (found on this website) and/or Tim Haywahe video: ‘Finished.’ Have students compare cone manipulative to shape of the tipi.
Have students pay special attention to the poles and pegs on the still image of the tipi. Have them compare a cylinder manipulative to that of the poles/pegs.
Australian Aboriginal people have a game called Marngrook where they play with a ball that has been created from possum or kangaroo skin. You could create a mimic version of this ball or print off a picture and show students. Click here for a picture.
  1. Give students the group of objects found in the materials section. Have them sort and classify these items. Also have students explain their classification. Give them time to discover which objects will roll.

  2. Have students choose one of the objects from the materials section. Can they see the shape of this object in the classroom? The school? The community?

  3. Place objects into a bag (Aboriginal content: you could place items in a parfleche bag) and have students dig and find the can/cylinder. Ask them how they found the can/cylinder.

    Have them reach in and grab another object. Have them orally describe what it feels like – shape, six, metaphorically. Once they have done this they can pull the object out. Can they describe the Aboriginal content you explained behind the object?

  4. Have students choose any of the objects. Ask the students to tell you the name of the object. Using natural clay have students re-create the object.

Communication – Students will be starting to use mathematics language.