In this lesson, students will listen to a story called Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander, linking geometric vocabulary with an amazing story. They will then draw the angles from the story - practicing measuring and drawing angles.
This lesson can be broken up into segments. My school district went to early release every Wednesday so I love to have a lesson like this, and have it last the entire day. Because the lesson includes literature, math, history and writing I feel that I've covered every subject.
This is the year when my district fully implemented the Common Core Standards, and as I was moving on to my favorite lessons on circumference, I could not find a standard to link it to other than 5.G.3 and 4 classifying two-dimensional figures. After talking to the other 4th and 5th grade teachers, we decided it had been removed from the standards but we still needed to teach it or this years students, my fifth graders, would be leaving for 6th with a gap. Because I teach a class of 4th and 5th graders this lesson is a great review for my 5th graders and a strong lesson on measurement of angles for my 4th graders. I build my lessons using a stair case of complexity - starting simple and moving into the complex.
Today's lesson started in my morning community circle. I asked the students to popcorn what they know about circles. Many students pointed out my theme wall - posters and student work - which I have astronomy related items on it - planets, moons and galaxies. One pointed out we were sitting in a circle. For the most part students were pointing out circle shapes but not how to measure a circle.
I thanked my students, and reminded them to give two other people appreciations, and sent them back to their tables to get out their math journals to get started.
Because children in 5th grade are still visual learners I then read (photo) them the book Sir Cumference and the Knights of the First Round Table. I work to include as much literature as I can throughout my lessons. After finishing the book, I have the names of the characters written on the board: Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter, Radius and Geo of Metry. I call on students to tell me why they were important in the story and which geometry vocabulary word they represented. This helps link the grade level vocabulary to an image from the story in the students minds. I then open the book to the page with Lady Di of Ameter standing on tip toe to touch the top of the tree. I have the students draw the tree, Lady Di, Radius and Sir Cumference. Once again linking the new vocabulary to visual images.
In the videos you can see me walk the students through how to find each of the angles on the handout (page 1, page 2). A tip for teaching your students how to measure angles is to first have them check that the protractor is facing the correct direction - they can read the printed words. The next step is to have them always look for what I call the zero line - zero degrees. This most common mistake is students will using the wrong row of numbers. To help correct this mistake I have the students play a game.
In one video, you will see students using hand movements to represent acute, right, obtuse and straight. This is a very important step to cover with your students before they start to measure angles with the tools. They need to imprint using muscle memory. I play a game called Mrs. Skinner Says - Mrs. Skinner says show me an acute angle, obtuse... always have one arm representing zero degrees.
Walk around checking your students work. You can do this with a quick glance to see if their answers are reasonable.
This may be where you want to break the lesson up and do this part after lunch, specials or another day.
To make sure answers are correct have students come up and model how they measured each angle. This is a great way for students to show how they measured, giving your students another persons explanation as well as having it modeled again for students who are struggling with the concept.
I had my students meet in Community Circle to build their reflections before they wrote about them. Reflection with discussion increases retention 80% so it is important to take the time to reflect. Because I was going to use this lesson as a summative assessment I wanted to make sure my students had as much time as they needed to discuss the topic.
What did you learn?
I learned a lot about angles, especially about right angles because I had a hard time drawing them.
I learned how to draw angles and how to measure them.
I learned a lot about different kinds of angles - like right angle, obtuse angle.
What did you do at your tables to work together?
How did you help another person?
When the students went back to their seats they were able to write a lot about what they had learned.