Teaching shapes is a fundamental learning activity for preschoolers. There are endless examples of shapes all around us, but with the short attention span of children under the age of five, the trick is finding ways to capture their attention. The diamond is a basic shape, along with squares and circles, so determining unique ways to teach it to preschoolers can be easy with a little creativity.
Ask students to create their own diamond-shaped storybook characters such as a Diamond Dinosaur, David the Diamond, or a Diamond Doggie. Have them draw and colour their character, explaining that any and all parts of the character can be shaped like a diamond such as hands, feet, eyes, noses, etc. Once they have drawn their characters, ask each student to show the picture to the class and explain how their characters use their diamond-shaped features. Then have them tell a story about their character.
Take students to a baseball diamond for a visual application. Explain the four bases and how they correlate to the four points of the diamond shape. Allow students to run the bases so they can feel the four lines needed to create the diamond shape.
In an open field, have groups of two or four students lay down to form diamond shapes with their bodies. Fly a diamond-shaped kite with students. While students are outdoors, have them explore the area and try to find diamond shapes around them. Ask them to draw diamond shapes in the dirt or on the pavement using chalk.
Arts and Crafts
Have students create diamond-shaped crafts using Popsicle sticks, beads, straws or pipe cleaners. Let them draw diamonds onto poster board or construction paper and then decorate using crayons, sparkles, paint, stickers or other age-appropriate decorating items. Collect calendars from the prior year and cut out all the squares for each day. Demonstrate to students that a square can be turned into a diamond when tilted in a different direction. Let students create a new calendar page with all diamonds instead of squares.
Show students examples of diamond shapes in everyday items such as argyle sweaters or socks, wrapping paper or wallpaper samples, and a deck of cards. Ask students to look around the room to find objects in the shape of a diamond. List the answers on a board. Then take students on a "field trip" around the school, again asking them to point out diamond-shaped objects. When you return to the classroom, have students draw three pictures of diamond-shaped items they saw on their trip.
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