First Grade

Paint It! Shape Recognition

Creative Communicator
Painting of a house in  apaint program


Everything has a shape! First graders learned the basic shapes in kindergarten, but now they will be learning more advanced shapes in geometry like hexagons and polygons. 

Students love to paint and draw. Using Paint Online, students can practice their shapes. Teachers can assign certain shapes and the students will create pictures with those shapes in them. For example a house has many shapes reflected in its windows, doors, roof, etc. Students will use their imagination to come up with things with the assigned shapes. 

Students will:

  • Be able to name all the shapes.
  • Be able to draw or paint all the shapes
  • Be able to draw things with the shapes in them. 

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Hexagon: A hexagon is a six-sided shape. 
  2. Polygon: A polygon is a figure with at least three straight sides and angles, and typically five or more.
  3. Cube: A cube is a solid body having six equal square sides.
  4. Sphere: A sphere is a three-dimensional object shaped like a ball.
  5. Cone: A cone is is a shape that has a circle at the bottom and sides that narrow to a point, like a party hat.
  6. Cylinder: A cylinder is an object with flat circular ends and long straight sides.
  7. Rectangular Prism: A rectangular prism is a three-dimensional solid shape. 

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Decide which shapes the students are going to learn. 
  • Here is a worksheet depicting some of the terms and shapes 1st graders should be familiar with. (You can make a copy and modify if you wish.)
  • Watch the three videos and decide which one or ones would be helpful for your students. There are many shape videos on YouTube for students. 
  • Learn how to use the Paint Online program
  • The online paint program is convenient as the students can practice the shapes by drawing and erasing them. They can use different size brushes and different colors.
    • This will save on materials in the classroom for this activity. 
    • The lesson is also good for mouse coordination 

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher will talk about shapes with the students and introduce new shapes to them. 
  2. The teacher will share the worksheet with them if applicable. 
  3. The teacher will share one or more of the videos with the students. 
  4. The teacher will introduce Paint Online
  5. The students will practice drawing shapes in the program. 
  6. The students will create a picture with things depicting the shapes that have been taught to them. 

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • The students will have drawn/painted a picture with all the shapes assigned to them. 

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Creative Communicator
6a. Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
6b. Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
6c. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

3D Shapes Song

Paint Online 

Shape Song Video

Shapes for Kids Video

Worksheet of shapes & terms 1st graders should be familiar with


Learn how to correctly spell and define the shape terms. 

Use the Paint Online program in art class to paint, draw and learn how to use the colors in the color wheel. 

Learn the shapes for beginning geometry. 

Students will find shapes in science and nature. 

This task card was created by Melissa White, 21Things Project Manager, REMC Association of Michigan, February 2018. Updated October 2023.