The perfect square in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on September 9, 2012

in Children's Books, Shapes and Colors, Tearing Squares, The Perfect Square

We recently read the book, “Perfect Square” by Michael Hall and then extended the book by exploring our own perfect squares….

“Perfect Square” is about a square that gets torn or cut and then rearranged into different shapes. Each day of the week, the square has a new experience and becomes a new shape. Lots of descriptive words are used like shattered, torn, cut, and crumpled…

After reading the book aloud to the children, I invited each child to choose their own perfect paper square to tear with their hands and then arrange and glue into a new shape…

For many of our students, tearing construction paper into long strips (like the square in our book) was quite challenging. Because we are only in our second week of school, this was our first experience working with tearing paper so it took a little problem solving and fine motor work to figure out how to position their hands to pull the paper apart in order to get their squares to easily tear into strips…

For another time, we will visit this book again and then use scissors or other tools to change our perfect squares but for today, I wanted the children just to explore the process of tearing their paper…

The children then rearranged their torn pieces of paper on their paper and glued them in place. We now had lots of new shapes made from what started out as perfect squares…

This book was a great tool for introducing the tearing, gluing, and creative process…

Some children chose to identify what they made with their newly organized square like this one – she made a cake with a candle…

Others just focused on the process…

Which often led to a unexpected results once the glue was added…

But every child explored the process of tearing and gluing their perfect squares which was perfect!

Oh, and today we invited the children to write their own names on their paper. Many of the children cannot actually write their own name yet and others are already well on their way.  But as each child begins to get in the habit of writing his or her own name on their artwork, or “Making their Mark,” soon their name will begin to take shape but for now, any mark they make is just perfect!

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Links to Grow On

Shapes on the Sticky Table by The Seeds Network

Taped Shapes on the Table by Teach Preschool

Geotrees by Nurturing Young Minds

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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