Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”





Students learn that simple shapes can be put together to make larger shapes.

Understanding the Standard:

  • Students can use pattern blocks or tiles to assemble compound shapes, such as assembling rectangles from two congruent right triangular tiles.
  • Students can practice this concept by working with puzzles in which an outline is covered with shapes such as tangram pieces.
  • Students perform tasks involving building walls, buildings, and bridges out of large wooden blocks, as this is important work for kindergarteners.
  • Students should be provided with opportunities to observe what pattern blocks are composed of. For example, when talking about pattern blocks, one can observe that a hexagon is composed of six triangles.

Questions to Focus Instruction:

  • Are students able to recognize the smaller shapes found within larger ones?
  • Are students able to manipulate shapes and pattern blocks to form new shapes?
  • Can students describe how they are putting together smaller shapes to create larger ones? How many similar shapes are contained in the larger one? Are there different ways to put together different smaller shapes to form the larger one?
  • Can students use small cubes to build a larger cube?
  • Can students put together two hemispheres to form a sphere?
  • Can students stack cylinders on top of one another to form taller cylinders?
  • Can students put together nested sequences of shapes to form a solid one?


Prior to: Students can locate examples of shapes in their environment, with some being isolated examples and others a part of a larger object.

At Grade Level:
Students understand that shapes have a physical relationship to each other and can be taken apart or put together (composed).

Moving Beyond:  Students understand that shapes can be taken apart to form smaller shapes, and can compose and decompose shapes whether they are two-dimensional or three-dimensional in nature. Students are able to identify the two-dimensional shapes that compose a three-dimensional shape and vice versa.