Diagonals of Quadrilaterals: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Diagonals
  • 0:51 Perpendicular Diagonals
  • 1:41 Mutually Bisecting Diagonals
  • 2:06 Drawing Diagonals
  • 2:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mark Boster
There are many types of lines: straight lines, curvy lines, lines at right angles, and lines that cross. But do you know about perpendicular and bisecting diagonals within quadrilaterals? Why don't you read this lesson and learn about them?


As Caroline and her mother were walking to the store, they came to a corner of two streets. Caroline tried to cut across the center of the intersection instead of first going to one corner, then the next. Her mother stopped her from going that way and said, ''Do not cut diagonally across the intersection. It isn't safe!'' It is safe, however, to go diagonally across a quadrilateral.

Imagine you are an ant. If you were walking with another ant named Shirley around a square, it would take a long time to go all the way around it. So Shirley decided to cut across the middle. Because she cut across the middle from one corner to the other, she crossed on the diagonal. A diagonal is a straight line that connects two opposite corners of a polygon.

Perpendicular Diagonals

There are two types of diagonals in polygons. The first type of diagonal we are going to find is a perpendicular diagonal. Perpendicular means that two lines come together at a right angle. A way to remember this is that you could put the corner of a piece of paper right in it. The corner would fit exactly in the right angle.

Look at the shapes in Diagram 1 on your screen.

Diagram 1

Let's see which ones look like they are perpendicular. There is a rectangle, a kite, a trapezoid, a square (even though it looks like a diamond), and a random polygon. Which ones have diagonals that cross at right angles? The perpendicular diagonals are the kite and the square. See if you can fit the corner of a piece of paper right where the diagonals cross. That is how you know they are perpendicular diagonals.

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