Clay Creations - Modeling Angles

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SWBAT draw angles using a protractor.

Big Idea

In this hands on engaging lesson, students use clay to make a miniature golf model all while deepening their understanding of creating angles. They then use their skills to draw angles using a protractor.

Warm Up

20 minutes

For this warm up, I use a book titled The book of Perfectly Perilous Math - 24 death defying challenges for young mathematicians.  I use a story that begins on page 127.  

 This photo shows what my book cover looks like. 

The story is a great way to review area and multiplication for my students. In summary, this particular story tells that "you" are in a rock band.  Your uncle in Florida has agreed to let you and the band stay in his one bedroom apartment while he is away.  There is a mishap during your stay and the apartment floor gets painted and you must replace all flooring.  The story then asks the students to find how much flooring is needed for each room.  This is a photo of the sketch in the book. I show this to my students using the document camera. 



 In this video, you can listen in as a student finds the area for each room. 


30 minutes

Once students have completed the area review from the warm up, I direct students to make a miniature mini golf model using clay.  Students must create an angle that a ball would take in order to hit a golf ball and get a whole in one.  Students worked with a paper model of a mini golf course in this lesson.  Students understand that the ball must hit a wall (or obstacle) and bounces off that wall at the same angle it hit the wall.  

When students participated in that lesson,  we had a brief discussion about how fun it would be to make a miniature golf hole. While this lesson doesn't let students create a working miniature golf hole, it does provide them with a way to be creative while deepening their understanding about angle concepts as well as practice in drawing and measuring angles.  This lesson's strength is that it is highly engaging for students while providing many opportunities to practice measuring and creating angles. 

As students work on their models, I circulate the room and offer assistance as necessary. I also make sure I touch base with students who displayed some struggles with how to use a protractor from a previous lesson.  It is important that I re-teach these particular students and offer guidance or scaffolds in order for them to be successful with this lesson and future lessons.  

 In this video, you can hear a student talking about how he created his miniature golf hole and drew the angles for a hole in one. 


In this photo, you can see a student's finished model, complete with angle lines drawn to indicate how to get a hole in one.