The Cube Challenge

Created by M4YC Lesson Study Teams

Curriculum – Geometry and Spatial Sense

For students to sort, classify two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional figures by attributes; recognize symmetry; relate shapes to other shapes, designs, and to figures; and describe location using positional language.


Students will begin by working in pairs and then in groups of four.


  • Unifix cubes


  • Have students sit in pairs and work with the same colour of unifix cubes. Tell them they are going to be making 3D structures with three, four and five unifix cubes.


  • First, have students create as many unique structures as they can using three unifix cubes.
  • Then have students create as many unique structures using four unifix cubes, and then five.
  • Have each pair of students compare their structures with another pair of students.
    • Ask the group of four to put each unique structure on a designated area, such as a mat.
  • As an entire class, have students check to make sure they have each shape.
  • Ask students from each group to describe one of their shapes while the other groups check to make sure they have built that shape too.


  • Make a class collection of structures.
  • Take one team’s collection and ask the other groups to add the structures that are missing.
  • There should be 21 structures all together.