See It, Build It, Check It

Primary (Age 6 – 9)

Curriculum Goal

Primary: Geometry and Spatial Sense

  • Compose and decompose various structures, and identify the two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects that these structures contain.


  • Students and teacher will be sitting on the carpet in a circle.


  • 2D shape outlines (Appendix A)
  • Pattern blocks for each student
  • Pre-assembled figures made of multilink cubes (see photos of cube figures below)
  • Multilink cubes (two colours) for each student



  • Present students with the outline of a 2D shape (Appendix A) and have them construct the shape using pattern blocks.
  • For subsequent rounds, briefly present students with an outline and then, hide it from view.
  • Have students construct the shape from memory. Briefly show students the outline again occasionally until most students have composed the 2D shape. Facilitate a discussion around memory strategies and the different ways of composing the same 2D shape.


  • Briefly present students with a pre-assembled cube figure for approximately five seconds.
  • Invite students to first discuss what they saw and then to re-create the figure from memory.
  • Repeat, presenting the figure for approximately five seconds each time until students have created what they think is the presented figure.
  • Reveal the original figure and have students compare their figure to it. Discuss strategies used to remember the figure and build it.
  • Repeat the exercise but with increasingly more complex structures.
An image linking to the See It, Build It, Check It lesson

Look Fors

  • How effective is the student at placing the pattern blocks within the provided frames? Are they able to visualize the arrangement before placing the pieces? Ask the student what he or she is visualizing. What kind of language is being used to describe what they’re visualizing? Listen for words related to location, distance, orientation and direction. For example, left, right, up, down, angle, turn, etc.
  • How effectively does the student replicate the 3D shape? Are they using gestures when imagining the shape in their mind? What kind of language are students using to describe the placement of the blocks? Listen for words related to location, distance, orientation and direction. For example, above, below, beside, in front of, etc.

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