Geometry Focus: Angles

We have finally finished conferences.  YAY!  I always love this time of year, meeting parents, setting goals, and a fresh start to a new quarter, but it is definitely a relief to have the first round of conferences over.

I wanted to share an awesome freebie with you that I found several years ago.  I use it with fifth graders, and just adjust it to meet their needs, even though it says to use it with 6-8th grade. Even more with the common core standards, I think this would be applicable to use with 5th graders to stretch their thinking and give them tools to use for deeper understanding.  I've used it several times with a lot of success and a lot of “aha” moments.  The activity is called Picking Pythagoras, and it's a unit looking at angles and triangles and looking at different angles and lengths of sides used to make triangles.  It's a hands-on activity and very engaging.  The directions for the lesson are here, and the materials that I used for my lesson are here.  I used the strips and the Exploring Triangles activity.  The others were too advanced for my students.

Basically, students cut out their strips of paper, and explore which strips go together to make triangles, and thus look at the different requirements of a triangle.  They examine the length of the strips as well as the angles and look for patterns between which combinations of angles and lengths will make a triangle.  The website above does a great job of explaining the activity. (These pictures are actually a bit older, from when I was student teaching and found this activity!)

YES! It makes a triangle.


Oh no! No triangle.

Hard at work

Another incredibly engaging geometry activity I have done with students is to use Wikki Stix to make pictures. Then, students can find the perimeter and angles in the picture.  (Sometimes I will tell them that they have to have a certain number of each type of angle).  I have even had the kids do this on top of grid paper and find the area of their shape.

I apologize for the low quality picture!  This gives you an idea of what the pictures look like.


Using the Wikki Stix to create their shapes, then measure and label.

I hope you all have a happy, relaxing weekend!  My family will be spending it at the Pumpkin Patch for the very first time.

Please Note: I am in no way affiliated with any of the websites linked to above, nor have I been compensated for mentioning them in this post.  They are simply tried and true activities and resources used in my own classroom.

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