Lesson Plans that Measure Up

You can use creative ways to teach angle lessons that will meet the needs of all students.

By Deborah Reynolds


math lessons that measure up

It can be a challenge to gather new and interesting ways to teach students about angles. You first must consider the age level of the student, and the specific information that they are expected to know. A third grade teacher may need his students to know the difference between a right, acute, and obtuse angle. However, a fifth grade teacher’s standard may require students to be able to use the proper tool for measuring an angle. For both teachers, they need to take concepts that can initially be abstract to a child and make it concrete, interesting, and memorable.

Some of the typical methods for teaching students about angles involve paper, pencils, and, occasionally, a measuring tool. Students are shown pictures of angles and asked to identify them. They may use protractors to measure angles in order to compare and identify them. Teachers usually have students draw and label the angles. If this is the way you've taught this subject many times you may be a little frustrated, and concerned about whether your students share these sentiments, but there are ways to put a new spin on this topic.

Taking into account the different ways students learn can supply new ideas about how to teach this or any skill. Kinesthetic learners would enjoy standing up and making angles with their arms and legs. There are several online programs that have virtual angles in which students can manipulate, measure, and label them. This would be stimulating for visual learners as well. Naturalist and spatial learners would enjoy leaving the classroom and taking a walk around the school looking for, and drawing examples of angles found in the real world. Students that have shown a mastery of this skill would enjoy making a game about angles that could be shared with the class and used as a performance assessment for the students that created it. Seeing ideas from more than one angle opens the door to success for all students. Here are some additional lessons that can make angle lessons interesting and memorable.

Angle Lesson Plans:

Do You Measure Up?

Students learn about angles through online activities, hands-on experiences, and virtual and hand-held protractors. This lesson plan’s activities range in difficulty. It begins with students actually making angles with their arms and legs, and advances to virtual manipulation of angles and protractors. It also includes three extension activities for high-ability/gifted students that take it to an even higher level.

Indirectly Direct

Students use their understanding of angles to conduct an experiment. This lesson provides an opportunity for students to work cooperatively in teams to conduct the experiment. In this experiment, a shape is hidden under a pie tin. A marble is rolled under the tin. Students must determine what shape is under the tin by observing the angle that the marble goes in when it bounces off of the shape. This is a clever and higher-order thinking activity for measuring angles.

Shapes and Angles All Around Us

Students measure real-life objects and take photographs. Students go on an image scavenger hunt, taking pictures of shapes with the various angles. The students identify the angles and write a Shape Poem about the angles found in the pictures. The lesson also includes an extension activity for bright/gifted students in which they create a multimedia project.












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Deborah Reynolds