(ages 3, 4, 5)


(ages 4, 5, 6)


(ages 5, 6, 7)


(ages 6, 7, 8)


(ages 7, 8, 9)

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(ages 4, 5, 6)

Draws triangles and rectangles

Math Vitamins:

Creating Boxes with 3-5 Sides

In this Math Vitamin, based on a talk given by a scientist studying guillemot bird population on Cooper Island, students are asked to design nesting boxes that are three, four and five-sided. Students are asked to build the shape on their Geoboard and to record the design.

|Download Math Vitamin :   PDF   Notebook

Story:Betty LOVED your ideas! After testing some out, George noticed that certain birds prefer different shaped nesting boxes. He wants to observe the birds' behavior in three, four, and five-sided boxes.

How many different styles of three-sided boxes can you design? Four? Five? Record your blueprints as you complete your designs.

Suggested manipulatives: Geoboards and rubber bands. You will also need Geoboard grid paper and pencils so students can document their design ideas.

Prep time: 5-10 minutes to assemble the Geoboards and bands and copy Geoboard grid paper for kids to record their ideas.

Classroom time: Asking children to do their best work for each Math Vitamin assumes that some children will need a longer time than others. Ideally you want to offer a block of time for Math Vitamin projects and have another task available (writing, free exploration, etc.) for those students who finish work prior to their peers. For this project allow 20-45 minutes for students to work through all the steps.

How to individualize/stretch: Some students will build and explore three sided shapes while you help them count and add vocabulary (triangles). For students needing a stretch, add the concept of area to this Math Vitamin. What four-sided shape has the most area for the birds? Which five sided polygon has the largest/smallest area?

Go to related Common Core State Standards:

Math Vitamins:

Ages 3-6

Building Shapes from Coordinates

|Download Math Vitamin :   PDF   Notebook George has sent us some maps of nesting boxes. This is the aerial view, or bird's eye view, of the site. He needs to stake down each nest at the corners so that the polar bears can't pick them up. Determine how many stakes each nest needs and where they are placed. Use the letters and numbers on the grid to label the corners.

Math Continuum > Emerging > Draws triangles and rectangles