Language Works

Shapes in Architecture

Ideal for Preschool/Pre-K

Different shaped and colored buildings

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to observe, explore, and describe their environment to gain an understanding of people, places, and things.

Materials Needed:

  • Notebook
  • Writing tool

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Step 1: Watch a brief video from PBS Learning Media on organic and geometric shapes in architecture.
  2. Step 2: Take a drive or walk through your community. Can you find examples of geometric or organic architecture? Help your child write down the types of shapes you see. Which are more common, geometric, or organic shapes?
  3. Step 3: Depending on your child’s interest, discuss and design some buildings in the notebook or on blueprint paper. How do different shapes change a building’s feeling, purpose, or use? What kind of building would your child like to create? What would it be for? What problems could it solve? Help your child write notes about the buildings or create a story.

Learn More: Older children can dive deeper into learning about architecture. Check out the resources on Frank Lloyd Wright, for example, at the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Your child might be inspired to know that Wright designed a home over a waterfall or that he created buildings that harmonized with nature. Maybe your child will want to design furniture after seeing Wright’s work.

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