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The Greedy Triangle
Author: Marilyn Burns
Illustrator: Gordon Silveria
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Copyright: 1994
ISBN: 0-590-48991-7
Number of Pages: 36
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK–2

This story invites children to imagine what happens to shapes as they get more sides and more angles.  As the shapeshifter keeps adding more sides to a triangle, the text introduces children to the names of the resulting polygons and shows representations of them in the real world.  The author includes a discussion of the mathematical ideas and suggestions for extensions at the end of the book. 

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How to Use This Book
Highlights and Insights
Related ORC Resources
Ohio Standards

 


How to Use This Book

  • Children take a walk to look for shapes in the real world. Focus on a single shape, such as a triangle, and have them draw what they see.
  • Have students tell you what they have seen in the shape of a triangle after you read the first four pages. After reading the next four pages, ask the students to identify quadrilaterals that they see. Continue to use the book in this way until finished.
  • Children select a polygon and think about what it might be a part of. When they have an idea, they should attach their polygon to a piece of paper and draw a picture around it.
  • Create a picture using the various shapes from the book. Have the children cut out an assortment of these shapes and make a "cool" picture with their shapes.

Highlights and Insights

  • The book is meant engage children in the topic of polygons. Each new polygon stimulates the child's imagination as to where that polygon could be found in the real world.
  • Accurate information is included about the subject of polygons, and the author explains that polygons can approach being a circle as the number of sides increases, but that a circle is not itself a polygon.

Related ORC Resources

Going on a Shape Hunt: Integrating Math and Literacy
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ORC# 4459
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics, Reading
Grades: Grades K–2
Professional Commentary: In this lesson, students are introduced to geometric shapes through a read-aloud session with a picture book. Using models to learn the names of shapes, students work together and individually to locate shapes in their real-world environment....
Mathematics and Children's Literature 1: Shapes and Poetry
View Full RecordAdd to My ORC Collection
ORC# 4233
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades 2–4
Professional Commentary: This lesson is the first of three multi-topic lessons that focus on activities motivated by mathematically related stories from children's literature. The teacher reads the poem "Shapes" from A Light in the Attic, and students use cutouts or draw shapes to depict the story in the poem....
Investigating Shapes: Triangles
View Full RecordAdd to My ORC Collection
ORC# 3336
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades PreK–2
Professional Commentary: In this four-lesson unit, students identify characteristics of triangles, manipulate real and electronic geoboards to construct triangles, and describe the triangles' relative locations. In addition, through music and observation, students identify triangles in their environment....
ODE Assessment Item, Grade 3: Sort Shapes by Characteristics
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ORC# 5503
Resource Information
Resource Type: Assessments
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades K–3
Professional Commentary: Students must select a shape with the same characteristics as another group of shapes. This multiple-choice question is a sample item used in the 2005 Ohio Grade 3 Achievement Test (see Overview of Ohio's Assessment System)....

Ohio Standards

Geometry and Spatial Sense Standard
    Benchmarks (K-2)
    A. Describe and create plane figures: circle, rectangle, square, triangle, hexagon, trapezoid, parallelogram and rhombus, and identify them in the environment.
    Grade Level Indicators (K)
    1. Identify and sort two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects. For example: a. Identify and describe two-dimensional figures and three-dimensional objects from the environment using the child's own vocabulary. b. Sort shapes and objects into groups based on student-defined categories. c. Select all shapes or objects of one type from a group. d. Build two-dimensional figures using paper shapes or tangrams; build simple three-dimensional objects using blocks.
    Grade Level Indicators (1)
    1. Identify, compare, and sort two-dimensional shapes; i.e., square, circle, ellipse, triangle, rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, parallelogram, pentagon, and hexagon. For example: a. Recognize and identify triangles and rhombuses independent of position, shape or size; and b. Describe two-dimensional shapes using attributes such as number of sides and number of vertices (corners, or angles).
    Grade Level Indicators (pre-K)
    3. Identify, name, create and describe common two-dimensional shapes in the environment and play situations (e.g., circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares).