Benchmark Instructional Guide
Connecting Benchmarks/Horizontal Alignment
Terms from the K-12 Glossary
Purpose and Instructional Strategies
The purpose of this benchmark is for students to build on their understanding of classification of
three-dimensional figures by finding similarities and differences between shapes.
- Instruction focuses on sorting and classifying three-dimensional figures.
- Instruction includes opportunities for students to sort figures based on various criteria,
such as same number of faces and figures with all flat sides (MTR.5.1).
- Instruction includes figures of various sizes and orientations, and may include nonstandard versions of figures as well (MTR.2.1).
- Relative position refers to students identifying left/right, in front of/behind, apart and
above/below when comparing shapes.
Common Misconceptions or Errors
- Students may sort figures separately because of orientation and size rather than the
identified attributes of the figures.
- Students may inaccurately name and sort three-dimensional figures based on the names
of their two-dimensional faces.
Strategies to Support Tiered Instruction
- Teacher provides solid shapes (cones, cylinders, cubes, and spheres) for students to sort.
- For example, instruction includes sorting shapes by how they are same or by how
they are different. The teacher asks follow up questions such as, “How did you
decide to sort the shapes? How many sides does this group have?”
- Teacher provides the following solid figures in multiple sizes: cubes, cylinders, cones,
spheres. Shapes are scattered in the workspace. Students work to match the cubes with
the cubes, the cylinders with the cylinders, etc., until all shapes are grouped. The focus is
on students being able to identify shapes when they are oriented differently (i.e., not
sitting flat on one side).
- Teacher constructs a Mystery Box where they position one solid figure out of sight of
students. Display some shapes on top of the box. Students put a single hand into the box
to feel the shape and then point to the matching shapes on display. To begin, let the
student see the shapes when feeling the attributes. Then hide the shape on subsequent
Instructional Task 1 (MTR.2.1, MTR.4.1)
Using the figures below, create sorting cards for students.
Provide each student in a group with their own set of figures to sort. Ask each student to sort
the figures in any way they choose. Once students have sorted their figures, give each student
time to share about their choices, and explain how they sorted their figures (by shape, straight
sides and circles, filled and not filled or number of faces). Once students have shared, ask
them to sort their figures in a new way. Give time for sorting and sharing again. Repeat the
task as needed.
Instructional Item 1
In what ways are the figures similar? In what ways are they different? Circle the cone. Draw
a square around the cylinder.
*The strategies, tasks and items included in the B1G-M are examples and should not be considered comprehensive