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Literature Based Kindergarten Curriculum, "The Greedy Triangle"

I'm really behind on posting our kindergarten books. As I mentioned before, I've been battling a virus. I think I've finally got it beat but for the last couple of weeks I've had nothing left to give after the kids go to bed. Hopefully, this week I can get caught up.

Primary Literature:  
  • Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns. I like that this book includes a story and not just a bunch of facts about shapes. I wouldn't necessarily call the triangle greedy, just discontent as he gets bored easily and starts to think that other shapes are more important.  Unsatisfied with the jobs of a triangle he asks a shaper shifter to make him a quadrilateral. He quickly becomes bored with those roles too, and continues to ask for more and more sides. At the end, however, he discovers he's much happier as a triangle and asks to be turned back. 

  • Vocabulary words to review
    • dissatisfied - unhappiness
    • angle - when the ends of lines meet
    • quadrilateral - shape with four sides and four angles
    • pentagon - shape with five sides and five angles
    • hexagon - shape with six sides and six angles
    • octagon - shape with eight sides and eight angles

Complementary Literature
  • When a Line Bends a Shape Beginsclever colorful pictures and simple rhyming text make this  book a joy to read. 
  • Mouse Shapes, this book tells the tale of how three clever mice use shapes to trick a cat.
  • The Shape of Things, a simple book that brings shapes together to form everyday objects like houses, trains, and ships. 

Other Complementary Materials: 

Learning Activities/Games: 

  • Shape sorting game: this is a game we created for Big Buddy several years back. The cards are pictures of everyday objects with one shape highlighted. The children sort them by square, rectangle, and triangle. 

  • Matchstick shape building: I've made the printable (for free) available here

  • Sorting buttons by shape: the buttons were purchased from Discount School Supply, they are great not only for sorting but for lacing and making collages. The food/sorting tray is from Dollar Tree. 

  • Dice shape matching game: we checked these dice and shapes out from the library and then used index cards to create game boards. The game, however, could easily be recreated with foam shapes and a DIY dice. The first child to fill up their game board wins. 

I love this picture, Mini Man had won the first few games but was quite dramatic when Little Lady finally took
the lead. 

  • Alphabet pattern block cards: no matter what unit we are doing these free printable(s) from Confessions of a Homeschooler get pulled out almost everyday. 
  • While out on a walk you can also play I spy: "I see a red circle", etc. Likewise, you can also  make a simple card of shapes and see who can spot them all first. 

  • The children used foam shapes to create their own shaped filled pictures.

this is a castle under siege 

  • They also created some abstract art using shape screens. 

  • If you don't have shape screens, dipping cookie cutters is another fun process-oriented painting method. 
  • Another less messy option is to have children use crayons to color over sandpaper shapes.

If you have any clever shape-learning ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Stop by our homeschool page to see more kindergarten book ideas or ideas for themed units.


  1. So interesting!! I love this post on “Literature Based Kindergarten Curriculum”. Thanks for sharing. I always use your teaching ideas in my Phoenix kindergarten class. My students love doing these interesting activities.


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