Saturday, July 14, 2012

Geometry Sketch Game

The most challenging class for me to teach so far has been geometry, just because it's brand new to me. For algebra I feel like I have a good amount of ideas and fun activities, but for geometry it's just taking me a little more time.

This Thursday was definitely fun. We started with all the basic geometry stuff- points, lines, and planes.  The kids were getting bored of definitions so I needed something good to sneak in some extra practice that they needed.

The game I came up with is possibly one of my new favorites. The game was pretty simple. One person had to describe a figure and the other person had to draw it based solely on their partner's description.

 I drew out ten different little sketches using points, lines and planes making them increasingly more complicated as I went along.  Each pair of students had a set of 10 cards that I had sorted into two different piles- five cards for each person that they had to keep secret.  Each pair also got 10 blank index cards.

Four of the ten different cards (ignore the wobbly lines in the bottom left one- copier did that)

Students sat across from each other with two books standing up acting as a divider, so that they couldn't see the other person's side.  One person had to describe their sketch and the other person had to draw.  Once they thought that they were done, they compared.  They got a point if the two matched.  Then they switched roles and did the next card.
The figure card
This one not so good. They got a laugh out of it and realized
they had to communicate a lot better.

The part I liked the best (other than the fact that it was hilarious to listen to them) was that I didn't give them any instruction on using technical geometry terms.  They realized really quickly that saying things like "draw a line straight across" wasn't clear at all and that "draw a horizontal line" was much better.  If they tried to give directions that were vague or not clear, their partner told them so and they had to try to describe it better.

This was a tricky one but this pair did great.

They absolutely loved it and keep asking if we can play again. The things they were saying were hilarious. Some of my favorites:
  • "And then there's a slanted line going through them..but not like slanted slanted, like crooked slanted"
  • "It's a shape like a trapezoid, but not a know"
  • I also loved the hand gestures.  I said they had to describe everything in words, but it was so funny to watch the kids that didn't even realize that they kept gesturing with their hands as they talked.
In the future, I think that in addition to the cards I would include a score sheet so that they kids could tally up their results.  It would make it easier for me to check and give them an idea of how well they're doing.

This would also be easy to differentiate.  You could make two/three different sets of cards that vary in difficulty.  Choose pairings strategically and give each pair a set of cards that is appropriate for them.

Download the file here.  I drew the points and labels on after printing though so the file is just the images themselves.


  1. Hello...great blog and great you happen to have the other cards used?

    1. Unfortunately not quite. I will post a link (when scribd starts working) above to the document that I made, but I just drew in the points and labels by hand before photocopying.

  2. Love this idea. You saved me once again for geometry class- this fits in perfectly. I plan on blogging this weekend about stealing your stuff. :)

  3. I love all your great ideas!! I can't wait to use this in my geometry class!! Please keep sharing all your great ideas!

  4. Thank you for the idea. Hopefully it will work in my class.

  5. This is such a great idea!!! really creative! I've been trying to incorporate more activities that get the students to both talk about what they are doing and to collaborate. This is perfect! Thank you!!!!

  6. Great idea. I'm excited to try this.

  7. Awesome idea! I'm going to use this Monday! Thanks so much!!!

  8. Awesome idea! I'm going to use this Monday! Thanks so much!!!

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