What Angles are on a Bat House?

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Students will be able to identify angles on a structure, organize data, and create statements according to a line plot graph.

Big Idea

Students are preparing to build bat houses. They have calculated surface area, identified nail placement, and will now collect data on angle types in this real-world activity.

Mini Lesson

10 minutes

To begin the lesson, I display the line plots attached in this section's resource. I ask students to talk with their shoulder partners at the community area about what they can tell by looking at the data displays. 

Then, I ask them to share out with the whole group. I am listening for statements about what information the plots show and comparative statements.  I will prompt where necessary and lead the students into a conversation of the plot markers representing more than one item. 

Next, we will review using a frequency chart to organize data and will also review acute, obtuse, and right angles. 

Active Engagement

25 minutes

Now we'll be making the connections between line plots, angle types, and our bat house project. The students are given one of our bat house kits, a 11 x 18 sheet of white paper, and 3 sheets of different color dot stickers.  They will keep track of the angle types on a tally chart they create and use the dots to represent the number of angles in the bat house. Their task is to gather and organize the types of angles data and create a line plot to display their findings. 

As they work, I circulate and prompt students to consider whether their markers will represent one, or more than one. I ask them to be ready to explain to the class why they made the decisions they did on their graph. 

This group decided to have their markers represent 2.  As I inquire, the students realize they should add a key for their plot line. 

Closing and Sharing

15 minutes

As a closing, I ask students to display their plot graphs around the room.  Then, teams do a math walk.  As they come to each team's display, they leave a sticky note stating a comparative statement that can be made from the data. 

Some of the stickies my class created were:

  • Your bat house has more right angles than any other angle.
  • You made your stickers represent 2, so you had 28 right angles because 14x2=28
  • Your house only has 2 obtuse angles.  That is 26 less than the right angles. 

This type of closing was perfect for the day, because the real learning is in the creation of the plot and the statement making. If students can't glean information from the line plot, there is no reason to make one!