Perspective Taking

Junior (Age 9 – 12)

Curriculum Goal

Junior: Geometry and Spatial Sense

  • Draw top, front, and side views of objects, and match drawings with objects.


  • Teacher with 12 students sitting in a circle with 14 sculptures in the center.


  • 14 pre-assembled structures made of single-coloured multilink cubes: Two of each structure in Fig. 1; two of the distractor shape in Fig. 2
    • Each structure is four cubes tall, but each varies in the total number of cubes used to construct it
    • Each has a sticker indicating the front view
    • All, except for the distractor sculpture, have a top view resembling a cross (Fig. 3)
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
  • Sheet with cross top view (Appendix A)
  • Sheet with all six non-distractor front views (Appendix B)
  • 2 × 2 cm grid paper (Appendix C)
  • Multilink cubes
  • Stickers (ring binder reinforcer)
  • Marker


Part 1: Top views

  • Explain to students they will be judges in an architecture show that requires all sculptures entered to have a very specific top view.
    • Show students the cross top view (Fig. 3), possibly provide each student with a copy.
    • Ensure students understand what the top view is by using a “sculpture” as an example. Explain that there may be many ways to have the same top view.
    • Invite students to walk around and look down at the sculptures to ensure each qualifies for the show (i.e., have the correct top view).
    • Warn students there may be some sculptures that do not have the correct top view.
  • After several minutes of investigating, have students announce the ineligible sculptures.
  • Remove the disqualified sculptures; there should be 12 remaining. Distribute one to each child.

Part 2: Front views and side views

  • Give each child the sheet with all six front views (Appendix B).
  • Explain that the sculptures’ front views are marked by stickers. Have students identify which of the six drawings corresponds with their sculpture.
  • Have students draw the side view of their sculpture on 2 x 2 cm grid paper.

Part 3: Build a sculpture and draw the three different views

  • Invite students to build a sculpture of their choice with eight single-coloured cubes and mark the front side with a sticker.
  • Have students draw and label each of the views on a grid paper.

Look Fors

  • Are students able to differentiate between similarly constructed structures? Can they recognize
    when shapes are symmetrical pairs
  • When creating 2D drawings, do students accurately represent the front/side view of the 3D
    sculpture? What might be contributing to any difficulties when representing the view as 2D?
  • Are students visualizing the shape of the structures by closing their eyes?
  • What spatial language are students using when discussing the structures?


  • Geometry Creature: Use 12 multilink cubes create a creature. Once students have created their creature, have them draw the front, top, and side views onto grid paper.


Moss, J., Bruce, C. D., Caswell, B., Flynn, T., & Hawes, Z. (2016). Taking Shape: Activities to Develop Geometric and Spatial Thinking. Toronto: Pearson Canada.

Related Lessons

Draw three-dimensional figures from top, side and front perspectives.

Build three-dimensional structures from three different perspectives.

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