Mind Mapping – How to Spot Shapes

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“Does a circle have corners?

And what about an eclipse?”

Learning to recognise basic 2-D and more complex 2-D and  3-D shapes such as pentagons, hexagons and cubes are important life skills. Learning shapes is key for future math learning and knowing 2-D shapes is important not only for geometry but also measurement of shapes. But “shapes are everywhere” and they are the basis of art education. Many famous artists have used shapes to create stunning masterpiece, for example, Matisse used shapes to created “The Snail”.  Shapes can also be used to make quick sketches such as drawing a house – a square with a  triangle on the top.

MatissesnailThe Snail

Spotting shapes in the world is a great way to solidify the understanding. Children could create patterns and twist and turn shapes around. Yet you think about ways to spot a shape and to classify a shape, several interesting questions may appear.

“Does a circle have corners?”

You can draw a circle by drawing a “googolgon” with a staggering number of edges, which will have tiny microscopic corners – you need a magnifying glass to spot these (see mind map).  But at some point you go from having a polygon to a circle and there are no longer any corners,. A circle consists of a smooth curve.


A child may stumble upon interesting pictures when he is making a mind map. There are shapes in shapes and sometimes shapes are created by making patterns of shapes. Devoting a branch in a mind map  to thinking about problems with identifying shapes and interesting shapes is an educational experience that will engage children’s minds and extend the way the look upon shapes and the world.


A BIG thank you to the two boys who talked about shapes. I hope you like the mind map!


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