Twisting Triangles

Twisting Triangles lesson plan

These triangles twist and turn! How many different triangles can you suspend on a mobile?

  • 1.

    During a study of geometric shapes, ask students to focus on the unique figure of a triangle. What make up this figure? How is it similar to other shapes? How is it different? Ask students to look at different types of triangles (scalene, equilateral, isosceles). How are these figures similar? Different? Write student contributions on a classroom white board using Crayola Dry Erase Markers.

  • 2.

    In small groups, students find out more about the names and types of triangles. Use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to list results. Students sketch each triangle and list its characteristics. provide time for groups to compare lists with other groups, adding any types that might have been missed.

  • 3.

    Students create triangle mobiles using the information they have gathered on triangles. On posterboard, students use Erasable Colored Pencils to draw a variety of triangles. With Crayola Twistables, decorate and label them. Cut out the triangles with Crayola Scissors. Encourage students to decorate the opposite side of each triangle.

  • 4.

    Punch a hole at the top of each triangle. Holes can also Punch holes in the bottoms of some triangles so additional triangle models can hang from them.

  • 5.

    On heavy cardboard, students draw a large triangle. Decorate both sides of it with Twistables. Punch three holes in it. Tie yarn in the holes for hanging. Use yarn to attach the smaller triangles to the large one and/or each other. Make sure the triangles hang freely beneath the large cardboard triangle.

  • 6.

    Hang Twisting Triangle mobiles near a window so they can turn in the breeze. Challenge students to view mobiles and see if they can compose a definition for each type of triangle.

Standards

  • LA: Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • LA: Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
  • LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships.
  • LA: Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
  • MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.
  • MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.
  • MATH: Geometric measurement: understand concepts of area and relate area to multiplication and to addition.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: Shape Up! by David A. Adler; The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns; Polygons (My Path to Math) by Marina Cohen; Polygons (Discovering Shapes) by David L. Stienecker
  • Take students on a triangle "hunt" in the school building. Ask them to document where they find triangles inside or outside of the building. Students write their observations and take digital photographs of the item observed. Create an electronic presentation of "Triangles in the School" for sharing with classmates. This activity can also be done for polygons in general.
  • Challenge students to investigate how pyramids are made. Read Pyramids (Exploring Shapes) by Bonnie Coulter Leech. Students use recycled cardboard to create mobiles consisting of pyramids.
  • Invite students to read about Alexander Calder, the inventor of the mobile. Share the book Sandy's Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya Lee Stone with students and invite them to incorporate some of Calder's techniques into creating mobile artwork.