Animal Pairs

Animal Pairs lesson plan

What do two things have in common? Select two cards and decide if they are alike.

  • 1.

    Students explore various geometric shapes. In small groups, students share their observations for each shape, such as "a triangle has three sides." Correct any inaccurate impressions students may have regarding geometric shapes.

  • 2.

    Provide students with 3" x 5" blank index cards. Using Crayola Markers or crayons, ask students to draw one geometric shape on each card. If appropriate, have students also write the name of the shape at the bottom of the card.

  • 3.

    Organize a walking investigation of the school building. While on the walk, ask students to see if they can find things that contain geometric shapes, like the ones on their index cards. For example, a window may be like a rectangle or a door knob may be like a circle. Upon returning to the classroom, students use a second set of blank index cards to sketch the items they observed on their walk. If appropriate, have students also write the name of the item on the bottom of the card.

  • 4.

    If recycled magazines are available, students can search for additional pictures that represent geometric shapes. Students tear out pictures and use Crayola School Glue to attach the pictures to index cards.

  • 5.

    Combine student index cards into two piles: geometric shapes and illustrations/magazine pictures.. Have students groups of two or three select 10 cards from the geometric shapes pile and 10 cards from the student illustrations/magazine pictures pile. Keep the cards facing downward while setting up the mixed piles into four rows of 5 cards each.

  • 6.

    Students in each group take turns selecting two cards. Students take turns turning over each of the two cards. Decide if the cards have a shape in common. If so, the player keeps the cards. If not, the cards are turned face down for the next player's turn. The game is over when all cards are matched.


  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
  • LA: With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
  • LA: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • LA: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • MATH: Identify and describe shapes.
  • MATH: Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban; The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns; When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Greene; Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh; Museum Shapes (Metropolitan Museum of Art) by The (NY) Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • This game can be adapted to other subject areas such as science or social studies. For example, a strawberry is a fruit; a piece of lumber is created from a tree, etc.
  • As children become more adept at identifying similarities, challenge groups by adding additional cards to the game round.