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  • Writer's pictureJessica Kaminski

Math Literature: Comparing Shapes

It's time for another great literature connection- this time focusing on comparing 2D shapes. In this book, Which One Doesn't Belong? Playing with Shapes by Christopher Danielson invites students to compare shapes by their attributes. The one major difference is that there is no single right answer! (This post does contain affiliate links.)



By asking students, which one doesn't belong, you are inviting students to be critical of what they see. Most students are used to answering a math question with one right answer. This book challenges students to defend their answers to prove why their answer is correct. By allowing more than one correct answer, students will live with the uncomfortable realization that sometimes there may be more than one answer.


When using this book, here are a few pointers to help students get the most out of this activity:

  1. Explain to students that this book does not have one particular answer. All answers will be welcome and accepted as long as they can be defended.

  2. Encourage students to use math vocabulary to defend their answers. Place names of 2D shapes with their pictures on the wall and invite students to use them when they discuss which doesn't belong. Highlight sides and vertices of each shape.

  3. Provide string, geoboards, or clay or 3D shapes to help students make concrete models of each shape.

If you are looking for more activities similar to this great book, check out this FREE resource online. It's an entire website with pictures dedicated to finding which one doesn't belong including shapes, coins, and even numbers.

If you enjoy this literature post, be sure to check out the full list at this post here. Bookmark the page, as I'm trying to update it regularly.

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