Presents flat shapes. Although our world is three-dimensional much of our perception is in two dimensions. Whether that be a computer or TV screen or even a piece of paper. It is important to put this perception into context and be able to describe this fascinating 2D world.

Prior Knowledge & Skills

All understanding of shape requires an understanding of lines and how they connect. Being able to draw and put an image on paper helps therefore dexterity in drawing is important. A feeling for length and measurement helps in the description and estimation of shape. A background in how numbers originate helps with the naming of shapes. An understanding of angle goes hand in hand with an understanding of 2D shapes.


We often think of shape as the simple addition of another line to get to the next shape up (for example 6 for hexagon to 7 for heptagon). However we assume too readily that shapes are regular. We need to delve further into the properties of shapes and how they relate one to the other. Flat shapes also form the basis for three dimensional work later. An understanding of 2D shapes helps us when working with area and can be used to visualise other parts of mathematics including algebra.


This computer screen is split into a series of rectangles. We drive in cars where the properties of circles are used to great effect. Computer models make significant use of triangles to build up 3D images. We use the vocabulary of shape (especially 2D) in everyday use making the understanding a required life skill.


Get an idea of 2D shapes from this PowerPoint:

Early years: Angle Games