The concept of a right angle can often stump children. After all, surely when any two lines meet, it’s an angle, right?
Using right angle detectors of various shapes and sizes and going on a right angle hunt around a school can be helpful. But past experience is that children jump about from angle to angle without really being sure of what it really is and supervising a class of 30 children to ensure they all get it can be a challenge.
However, once again, I’ve discovered that using sticks seems to help children understand and enjoy learning about right angles in quite a purposeful manner. Last Monday, at 9am, a class of P3 children, armed with sticks and some multilink cubes headed out into the gentle rain to carry out a right angle investigation.
The children worked in groups of four to create a shape or picture that had the most number of right angles they could possibly make. In order to check an angle was “right” a multilink cube was placed in the corner.
We discussed how to make a right angle and check it especially with sticks which are prone to being a little wonky rather than neat and straight.
The children began to see the possibilities. One group discovered that if the sticks were placed carefully together, a second right angle could be created in a corner…
And that if sticks were carefully crossed over each other, then this created four right angles. Aha!
And suddenly the creativity and possibilities multiplied, from basic structures like this…
To this! Wow!
And this! Suddenly, the triangles disappeared!
One group noticed the kilt that a girl was wearing and the right angles within the pattern. They used this as an inspiration…
This led to considerable discussion about who was wearing the most right angles on their clothes! Hmm.
It will be interesting to meet the class tomorrow and see how this activity impacted on their indoor work on right angles. I’ll check with the teacher…as I’ve more outdoor angle work waiting to be tried and tested!