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McREL Standards Activity

Which Object Do I See?

Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will develop the ability to describe the position of and locate objects relative to other objects.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
 Standard 10.Understands forces and motion
   Level I [Grade K-2]
   Benchmark 3. Knows that the position of an object can be described by locating it relative to another object or the background
Student Product:Group participation and worksheet
Material & Resources:
  • Blocks or other simple objects of various shapes, sizes, and colors (8-12 per group of students)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Worksheet (see "Assessment" portion of Activity)
Teacher's Note:Be ready to assist any students who repeatedly have difficulty describing or identifying objects.  Encourage students to try being more specific if their descriptions are inadequate for the others to guess the object.
As a class, discuss the importance of being able to accurately describe objects and their locations.  Brainstorm a list of descriptors and location words/phrases (e.g., round, purple, big, apple-sized; above, behind, next to, to the right of, close to, far from) and demonstrate ways to use them.  Point out the relative specificity of different phrases (i.e., some phrases are very exact, while others are rather general and may depend on perspective).

Working in groups of 3 or 4, students should spread a set of objects out on the floor or a table.  Have the students line up next to each other so they are observing the objects from the same perspective.  They should take turns describing the location of one object relative to the others while the other students try to determine which object is being described.  For example, one student might say, "I see an object that is to the left of the red square" or "I see an object that is in between the red square and the yellow pencil."  Another might answer, "You see a blue circle."  One possibility for play is to have the student that answers correctly go next.  Another option would be to have the students take turns, moving down the line (this would ensure that all of the students have an opportunity to describe an object).  The objects can be rearranged to continue play and to demonstrate that position can change (e.g., the red square might be to the left of the pencil in one arrangement, but another arrangement might have the red square to the right of the pencil).  

In addition to observing students’ skills in the group activity, have students complete a similar activity in the form of a worksheet.  For each student, have ready a sheet of paper that depicts numerous shapes in various colors spread across the page.  Provide written or verbal instructions for the students to draw three specified objects in specific positions, each a bit more difficult than the previous.  For example, you might instruct students to draw a blue square next to a red square and to draw a red circle that is above the purple square and below the orange star.  An alternative is to instruct them to circle specific objects, rather than draw them.