The Greedy Triangle Free Writing Printable

This post has a short review of The Greedy Triangle with a free writing printable.  Marilyn Burns is the author of many math-based fiction stories, including this one. The stories help give mathematics a real-world understanding, which usually has to be pointed out by the parent or teacher. This is the story of how the main character, Triangle, is dissatisfied with his shape. Although he can do many things (such as being a piece of pizza or part of a bridge) he visits a shape-shifter who adds one line at a time. The story points out where basic shapes exist in the real world, and show how just one additional line at a time makes such a difference.the-sad-shape-math-story-writing-2D-shapes

At the end of The Greedy Triangle, Triangle wants to be himself again, so this story also gives the message to like who you already are. It is nice for geometry units in math.  I used this book when teaching second-grade math class. It would also fit near the end of grade one.

The-Greedy-Triangle-by-Marilyn-Burns-book-coverThe story has many pictures so it could be reread several times to notice all the different ways shapes may be found in the world. To extend this story, I read this book aloud to first graders who then wrote about a shape they would like to be, changed shapes, and returned to their original shape. Students referred back to the story for ideas, which helped them retain the information. When driving in the car, parents could ask children to notice different shapes along the way.   This is my PDF writing frame you are welcome to use in your classroom:

The Sad Shape Writing Frame, PDF, free, 10 student pages

This is the first page of the student writing printable. Teachers may select all or some of the pages in the printable.

For differentiation, a different amount of pages could be assigned to help support emergent as well as intermediate writers.


Shape (the hero of the story) had a good life, he just wanted to be able to do some other things, as well. the-sad-shape-math-story-writing-freebie_Page_04

Shape goes shopping for more lines and corners. Later, he or she returns a few, so it is good the store takes returns and give refunds. the-sad-shape-math-story-writing-freebie_Page_05

Happy reading and writing, Carolyn