Front and back, top and bottom, and left and right are ideas that we use to describe objects in our three-dimensional world. Young children learn these positional words in Kindergarten. In fact, learning the meaning of these words is one of the Common Core Kindergarten geometry standards.
In reality these are big ideas that are important throughout the geometry that students study from Kindergarten to high school.
In the video that follows, Erin and I will explore these ideas using some common things you might see around the house and then with some geometric shapes like a cube, a rectangular solid, and a cylinder. We’ll finish up by posing a problem that I’m hoping you’ll want to work on. In a follow-up post we’ll come back to talk about a solution.
The key to solving the problem we posed in the video is to think about the object you are looking for from these three points of view—front/back, top/bottom, and left/right. We’ll talk more about this in the follow-up to this blog. It’s our hope that we have enticed you to work at the problem and perhaps challenge your students to think about it with you. A template with the three openings is available for download here.