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NSW Syllabuses

Mathematics K–10 - Early Stage 1 - Measurement and Geometry Three-Dimensional Space


A student:

  • MAe-1WM

    describes mathematical situations using everyday language, actions, materials and informal recordings

  • MAe-3WM

    uses concrete materials and/or pictorial representations to support conclusions

  • MAe-14MG

    manipulates, sorts and represents three-dimensional objects and describes them using everyday language


  • Students:
  • Sort, describe and name familiar three-dimensional objects in the environment (ACMMG009)
  • describe the features of familiar three-dimensional objects, such as local landmarks including Aboriginal landmarks, using everyday language, eg flat, round, curved LAHC
  • describe the difference between three-dimensional objects and two-dimensional shapes using everyday language (Communicating) LCCT
  • sort three-dimensional objects and explain the attributes used to sort them, eg colour, size, shape, function
  • recognise how a group of objects has been sorted, eg 'These objects are all pointy' (Communicating, Reasoning)
  • recognise and use informal names for three-dimensional objects, eg box, ball L
  • manipulate and describe a variety of objects found in the environment
  • manipulate and describe an object hidden from view using everyday language, eg describe an object hidden in a 'mystery bag' (Communicating) L
  • predict and describe the movement of objects, eg 'This will roll because it is round' CCT
  • use a plank or board to determine which objects roll and which objects slide (Problem Solving) CCT
  • make models using a variety of three-dimensional objects and describe the models, eg 'I made a model of a person using a ball and some blocks'
  • predict the building and stacking capabilities of various three-dimensional objects (Reasoning) CCT

Background Information

In Early Stage 1, the emphasis is on students handling, describing, sorting and representing the many objects around them. It is important that students are encouraged to use their own language to describe objects.

Manipulation of a variety of real objects and shapes is crucial to the development of appropriate levels of imagery, language and representation.

Local landmarks include buildings, rivers, rock formations and bridges, as well as Aboriginal landmarks. Aboriginal landmarks may include contemporary landmarks and local points of interest. Local Aboriginal communities and education consultants can provide examples.


Students should be able to communicate using the following language: object, shape, size, curved, flat, pointy, round, roll, slide, stack.

Teachers can model mathematical language while still accepting and encouraging students' informal terms.

The term 'shape' refers to a two-dimensional figure. The term 'object' refers to a three-dimensional figure.

National Numeracy Learning Progression links to this Mathematics outcome

When working towards the outcome MAe‑14MG the sub-elements (and levels) of Understanding geometric properties (UGP1-UGP2) describe observable behaviours that can aid teachers in making evidence-based decisions about student development and future learning.

The progression sub-elements and indicators can be viewed by accessing the National Numeracy Learning Progression.