Teaching Lines and Angles


March 3, 2023
hand forming angles

Geometry is one of my favorite things to teach in elementary. I always begin by teaching the kids how “geo” means earth and “metry” means to measure, so we are literally learning how to measure the earth! In this post I will be focusing on teaching lines and angles. Please see my other posts for Teaching Area and Perimeter, Measurement Conversions, and using The Greedy Triangle to teach about polygons.

Geometric Vocabulary

I teach the math vocabulary with physical movements. We learn all of the terms and movements below then play Simon Says to practice. “Simon Says show a ray” etc. The kids love it and they remember the terms!

  • Line goes on forever- we hold out both arms with hands extended
  • Segment is a piece of a line- we hold out both arms with fists
  • Ray – hold out both arms with one hand extended and one hand in a fist
  • Point- hold out fist
  • We also make parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting lines with our arms.
  • We also demonstrate acute, obtuse, and right angles.

Vocabulary videos online for teaching lines and angles:

Books for introducing geometric vocabulary

Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland

Lines, Segments, Rays, and Angles

Angle Manipulatives

See my page AngLegs for information about and teaching resources for using these amazing angle manipulatives.

Art For Teaching Lines and Angles

I believe the original source for this Name Geometry picture was Teacher Created Resources, but I can’t find the original. It could easily be made using rulers and would make a great display!

Name geometry example
Image from E is for Explore

We have also made lines and angles in class using Wikki Stix (yarn coated in wax.) They are bendable, easy and fun to use, and reusable! This is perfect for a math center.Create Teach Share has free printables on TPT for using with these.

Wikki stix angles
Free printable available from Create Teach Share

Craft sticks work too!

Craft stick angles
Image from Indulgy.com

Or, if you want to incorporate some fun with food, you can use this lesson from FlapJack to use pretzel sticks and marshmallows.

Another fun idea is to use washi (or masking) tape to make angles on your students’ desks or individual white board, then have them use dry erase markers to identify and/or measure the angles.

Image from Runde’s Room

This Angle Art lesson from In the Playroom teaches kids how 360 degrees makes up a circle. I love to follow it up by showing them using clock manipulative how the hands on a clock form angles. It always blows their mind 🙂

Missing Angles Art Activity

Create a Geometry Star with this TPT freebie that reviews point, line, line segment, endpoints, angles, and ruler use.

Math art lesson using lines and angles

Additional Practice

Online Games

Estimating Angles from Nrich

Alien Angles at Math Playground

Line Shoot at Sheppard Software

Projects and Enrichment

Geometric Town Project (FREE) by Classy Colleagues

Geometry Enrichment Choice Board for 4th Grade by Simon Says School. Addresses standards 4.G.A.1, 2, and 3 ($1 on TPT)

4th Grade Angles and Measurement Enrichment Projects by Gina Kennedy for standards 4.MD.C.5, 4.MD.C.5a, 4.MD.C.5b, 4.MD.C.6, 4.MD.C.7. Nine creative and differentiated projects including creating poetry, writing an ABC book and a directed angle drawing.  ($2.50 on TPT)

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