Shape Transformer

Curriculum Geometry and Spatial Sense 

  • Sorting and classifying 2-dimensional shapes by attributes
  • Classifying 2-dimensional shapes by geometric properties
  • Relating shapes to other shapes, to designs, and to figures
  • Describing relative locations and paths of motion
  • Composing and decomposing shapes
  • Recognizing transformations


Students are presented with the Shape Transformer (a poster display board with cutout “input” and “output” slots — see photo). The Machine works accordingly to a given transformation (e.g. rotates shapes 45 degrees clockwise). After a series of paired “input” and “output” cards, students guess the transformation rule.



  • Present students with the Shape Transformer and explain that the machine operates
    based on a specific transformation (e.g. reflects all input cards around vertical axis).


  • Have students play the role of “detectives” and ask for their help in trying to figure out
    the machine’s rule.
  • Present students with an “input” card and insert it into the machine; take the
    corresponding “output” card and withdraw it through the “output slot”.
  • Place the pair of cards next to each other under two columns called “Input” and “Output”.


  • Repeat the instructions above. Present at least 3 pairs before having students guess the
    transformation rule.
  • Have the students guess the transformation rule by either verbal description and/or
    drawing what the “output” might look like based on the “input” card.