Google Apps Lesson Plan: Exploring Shapes


Last week I was fortunate to come across the best book I have yet read around Google Apps for Education (GAFE) as I seek out new ideas and strategies to share with teachers.

Google Apps meets Common Core by Michael Graham has 250 pages of fresh ideas, lesson plans, hints and tips around using Google Apps in the Classroom. 

Being based in Australia I don't teach to 'Common Core' but the content was more than relevant for our teachers and students needs. 

Google Apps Meets Common Core
By Michael J. Graham

Finding quality PD around GAFE can be a little tough at times so this book has really filled a huge gap for me and I still have 80 odd pages of it to go. 

I contacted Michael and asked if I could share some of his ideas with my readers to which he obliged.  As a result I can now share with you his excellent lesson plan around using the drawing tool to explore shapes below.

You might want to do yourself a favor and get either the paperback or kindle version of Google Apps meets Common Core for yourself for a ton of further ideas, tools and resources around Google Apps for Education.

Lesson Plan Title: Exploring Shapes


Google Drawings uses terms used in mathematics like: rotate 90 degrees, flip horizontal, flip vertical. When students understand these terms they are more likely to create and manipulate shapes using graphic design programs while learning geometry. While playing with the shapes students will be introduced to vocabulary of the shapes, learn how to build and draw shapes, and manipulate them in a graphic design program. This activity will be a good introduction to learning shapes and vocabulary.


The students will learn to distinguish between the defining attributes of shapes by creating, manipulating, and using commands such as rotate 90 degrees, flip horizontal, flip vertical.


The teacher will…

1.     Share the Google Drawing ( with the students asking them to make a copy of the document

a.     Making a copy of the drawing allows each student to edit his or her own version without editing the shared document.

2.     Instruct the students to manipulate, create, rotate and flip various shapes.

3.     Encourage students to explore the many different kinds of shapes that Google Drawings allows students to make.

4.     Ask students to construct a drawing with the shapes

Enrichment:  Students may change the size of the shapes recognizing that size of the shape does not affect the name of the shape.  Explore polygons and irregular polygons.

The student will…

1.     Make and manipulate various polygons

2.     Double click in the center of the shape to name it

3.     Share the drawing with the teacher for grading

Common Core State Standards

Elementary Mathematics (1.G.1)

Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.

Elementary Mathematics (2.G.1)

Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.5 Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.

Elementary Mathematics (3.G.1)

Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.


Teacher grades the shared drawing and grades the name of the shapes.