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Teaching Students About Vertical and Complementary Angles with Macaroni and Popcorn
Submitted by April from Michigan
5th Grade Teacher
Lesson Title - Vertical and Complementary Angles
Materials - yarn, popcorn kernels, macaroni noodles, glue, construction paper
I begin the lesson by reviewing the prior knowledge that angles on a straight line total 180 degrees and angles surrounding a point total 360 degrees. We also review acute, right, and obtuse angles. The students use two pieces of yarn and glue them parallel to each other on construction paper. The students then glue one piece of yarn that intersects the parallel threads, but not perpendicularly.
The students then use macaroni noodles and glue them in all of the angles they've formed with their strings that are acute. They glue popcorn kernels in all of the obtuse angles they have formed.
The teacher then asks what the students notice about the macaroni noodles (they are opposite each other) and describes these as vertical angles. Vertical angles are opposite and equal. The teacher then asks what the students notice about the popcorn kernels (they are opposite each other) and describes these as vertical angles as well.
The teacher then directs the students to recognize what they notice about the macaroni noodles and popcorn kernels that are next to each other (they form a straight line). The teacher describes these as complementary angles because they are next to each other and form a straight line (180 degrees). The teacher then follows the activity with worksheets identifying complementary angles and vertical angles and posts the string posters for reference and display.
Webmaster note: Thanks for sharing this great lesson idea, April! I'm sure the kids really understand the concept well because they get to "learn by doing." Great for the visual and tactile learners in the class!