Lesson Plan – What Shape is That?
Shape and clay/plasticine modelling – Students develop an awareness of different places of worship and the shapes in their architecture through this hands-on activity.
- To assist students in recognising familiar shapes in architecture.
- To develop students’ awareness of the appearance of different places of worship.
- Book: What’s Special to Me? Religious Buildings by Anita Ganeri, Wayland Publishing Ltd, 1998, UK or a similar story about a child going to a place of worship.
- Plasticine, play dough or clay.
- Newspaper to work on.
- A range of modelling tools and shapes to trace around.
- Pictures of places of worship for Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus.
What to do
- Teacher reads the story and students share their own experiences and knowledge of places of worship.
- Students view the pictures of different places of worship and teacher labels them with key information eg name of building, religion.
- Using the pictures and the book, students compare and contrast the features of the different buildings and identify the shapes they can see in them.
Note: Younger children may simply identify 2D shapes, while older ones may be introduced to 3D shapes eg hemisphere, triangular and rectangular prisms.
- Students choose one of the buildings to model.
- Teacher demonstrates the construction of the shapes and how to join them together (blending edges together with thumbs).
- Students construct their models and display their constructions.
- Students could visit some places of worship in the local area.
- The learning activity could be done using coloured paper or other construction materials.
- This activity could be completed as a part of a thematic study of buildings.
- Invite a guest speaker to speak to the class about shapes in buildings and why they are used eg for strength.
- Students may learn more about the clothing, ceremonies, customs and decoration associated with different places of worship.
Adapted from a Living in Harmony Funded Project, ‘All Together Now’, Churches’ Commission on Education, WA, 1999.