Angle Relationships Formed by Parallel Lines

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Students will be able to correctly name types of angles and state that these angles are congruent depending on whether the lines cut by a transversal are parallel.

Big Idea

A tracing paper activity allows students to see [through] that that corresponding angles and alternate interior angles are congruent only if the transversal cuts across parallel lines.

Crossing the Line

15 minutes

I have found that students often have a hard time differentiating between the names we assign to types of angles particularly because, at a quick glance, students often just see pairs of angles without noticing that their location relative to one other and to the lines and transversal matter greatly (MP6).  

I like to have students work on the lesson opener, Crossing the Line, in pairs to create a greater sense of safety and allow more risk taking compared to groups of four.  This is important for this lesson since it may hard for students to understand the vocabulary for types of angles. Students often just see pairs of angles without noticing that their location relative to one another, the boundary lines and transversal (MP6).

Resource Citation: I want to acknowledge Cathy Humphreys, a colleague and mentor, who shared the original version of "crossing the line" with me.

Whole-Class Demonstration: Vertical Pairs of Angles are Congruent

10 minutes

I do a whole-class demonstration where I model for students how to use tracing paper.  By this point, several students have conjectured that vertical angles are congruent.  At this point, I use the document camera to show that vertical angles are congruent with tracing paper; then I prove vertical angles are congruent using linear pairs of angles in a whole-class discussion.  My goal in this discussion is to begin developing students' understanding for how they can attempt to prove their conjectures true. 

At this point, I ask students to draw two lines that are clearly not parallel and to cut these lines by a transversal since it is important to establish parallel lines as a special condition.  I ask students to use their tracing paper to identify any pairs of angles that are congruent.  We share out our findings as a whole class (only vertical pairs of congruent).  Ideally, a student will ask, "But what happens if the lines are parallel?  Would there be other pairs of angles that are congruent?"  We then transition into the parallel lines investigation.

Investigation: Special Angle Relationships on Parallel Lines

20 minutes

I use the document camera to project exactly how I want students to start the investigation.  (We operate under the assumption that the lines on our notebook paper are parallel.)  I ask students to use their tracing paper to identify pairs of angles that are congruent and to name these angles by using their work from Crossing the Line.  Ultimately, students write a conjecture for the types of angles that are congruent given parallel lines.  

While students work through this investigation, I circulate the room to assist them with using tracing paper and naming pairs of angles.  Inevitably, some groups will finish conjecturing about the types of angle pairs that are congruent before other groups; I offer early finishers an extension: identify pairs of angles that are supplementary and prove your conjecture.



Whole-Class Debrief of Parallel Lines Investigation

20 minutes

I debrief the Parallel Lines Investigation by calling on different groups to give an example of a pair of angles that are congruent and to name the angle relationship.  Groups share out examples of congruent alternate interior angles, alternate exterior angles, and corresponding angles, which I record on the whiteboard.  

After we complete the parallel lines conjecture as a whole class, I then ask groups who worked on the extension to come up to the whiteboard to share their conjecture about the type of angle pairs that is supplementary and to convince us that their reasoning makes sense.  To make this presentation useful to everyone in the class, I ask questions like, "how do you know?" which requires the presenters to back up their claims.  Additionally, I ask students in the audience to re-phrase or summarize what they have heard for the whole class, which adds clarity to the ideas being shared.

We formalize our understanding from the investigation by taking notes to close up the lesson.     

Individual Processing: Connect Two

15 minutes