Common Core Standards: Math
1. Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects (e.g., modeling a tree trunk or a human torso as a cylinder).
Like some of the best student-written metaphors around, this standard is all about students comparing things to other things. Of course, nothing really compares to the feelings of Geschpooklichkeit that we experience just thinking about it.
Perhaps even easier than the TV Guide crossword puzzle, students will find this standard to be as much about common sense as it is about geometry. Describing objects using the measures and properties of geometric shapes just means knowing what shapes look like and applying this knowledge to describe real-life objects.
Here are a few examples of tasks that students should be able to do:
- Recognize that the dice used in Monopoly are cubes, while the letter tiles in Scrabble are rectangular prisms
- Calculate the amount of floor left uncovered by the circular area rug in a rectangular living room
- Identify the person in the police line-up who robbed the convenience store based solely on the shadow the perp cast while fleeing the scene
- Describe a person's face as a perfect ellipse, like a circle that has been squished by a Thigh Master
It's really about helping students see geometry in the world around them. Angles, circles, squares, and spheres aren't hidden in the pages of a geometry textbook. They're everywhere we look.
If you want to get your students to start thinking a bit more abstractly, we suggest mentioning optical illusions and the Parisian lawn version of the Death Star. (It might just be a globe, but we'll need more evidence.)
Now toss a truncated cone (a lamp shade) over your head and we'll get this party started!