The lesson can introduce shapes and the construction of the five platonic solids. It also relates how a 3-dimensional surface is represented through a 2-dimensional surface such as in maps and the distortions that can occur.


Elementary 5 - 6 and secondary 7 - 12.


How does nature shape the things that we see? How can we take a 3-dimensional object and make a map out of it?


#1 How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
#7 The physical processes that shape the patterms of Earth's surface.


45 minutes.



A. Students will be able to create 3-dimensional shapes of the platonic figures using the paper patterns.
B. Students will be able to realize the way maps represent 3-D space and the distortions that occur on a flat surface.
C. Students will be able to understand the physical earth and the shape that it makes in space.


1. Break the students into groups and give them a packet with instructions on steps to follow. Each person should be able to create one of the figures and they can help each other out to complete the figures.
2. While working in groups give them puzzle pieces to fit together from the game, Global Pursuit. Have them pass these around from group to group when completed. Also pass around several different types of maps.
3. When the figures are completed, have the students tape the 5 figures on a string like a totem pole and hang them up in the room.
4. Dicuss the properties of the various shapes and relate the problems that maps have in representing a 3-D object on a flat 2-D surface.


Informal - The teacher will observe the students working in groups.


1. Have students color the Earth dragon or zodiac.
2. Plot, map, or identify locations of various ancient monuments and see how they relate to the planetary grid.
3. Create imaginary maps from the various solids such as a cube world or dodecahedron world.

Patterns / Assemble / Explanation / Color / Lesson Plan