To begin some numeracy lessons we regularly talk about a Shape of the Week. This entails the children discussing and recording all they know about one particular shape (2D or 3D) and then as a class we recap the properties.
It has proven to be a useful and regular reminder about the difference between the properties of common 2D and 3D shapes. Sometimes it is a standalone activity, depending on the topic we are working on – or it may tie in well with some work on shape. For example when we were looking at nets I used the 3D models of the pyramids to help visualise the shapes.
Well another fun spin on the use of Google Earth 3D models is using the mashup Monster Milk Truck. It draws on the API from Google Earth/Maps, giving you a little milk truck to drive around the Earth. You will need the Google Earth plugin to view it.
With the class as my delivery buddies we hit San Francisco in search of cuboids. We were not to be disappointed as you can imagine that most buildings are this shape. We parked up and I annotated the view we had of some buildings (cuboids) with the properties and ideas we discussed as a class. I then backed this up with some real examples from the classroom and asked the children to spot some more in our room.
It was a great way to have a little fun and explore 3D shapes – as we raced along, milk bottles jangling, the children called out the different 3D shapes they could see. When we saw some cuboids we circled them in the van to get different perspectives, an engaging 10 minute starter.
Recently I was looking for some more ideas for Monster Milk Truck and started a Twitter hashtag #milktruckideas which doesn’t show up on a Twitter search anymore but does when it is Googled.
Would love to hear what you think about this idea for 3D shape and to hear anymore #milktruckideas.