Understanding the Relationship Between 2-D and 3-D Shapes

By Charlotte Cushman on Apr 24, 2017

The goal of this activity is to help students with visual impairments to understand the relationship between two-dimensional figures and three-dimensional figures.  This activity builds on prior knowledge with 2-dimensional figures and 3-dimensional figures and differentiates between the characteristics of right rectangular prisms and right rectangular pyramids.  Students will also compare the attributes of right rectangular prisms and right rectangular pyramids.


1.  Invite the students to examine 3-dimensional shapes and identify each of them.  Begin with basic shapes, such as a sphere, cube, and pyramid.

2.  Ask them to make the same shapes out of playdoh.  

3.  Slice the playdoh into 2-dimensional pieces and ask the students to identify the shapes.  Discuss the ways in which a cube becomes a square, a sphere becomes a circle, and a pyramid becomes a triangle.

Geometric shapes from APH4.  Use APH Geometric Forms to match the 3-dimensional to the 2-dimensional shape.

5.  Use Wikki Stix to create tactile outlines of different shapes.  Wikki Stix basic shapes

6.  Ask the students to describe the relationship between the three-dimensional shapes and the two-dimensional shapes.