Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.
Need for Activities
All students need a chance to show what they know through various activities and performance tasks. Incorporating activities will help engage all learners as well as speak to their different learning styles. Use the ideas in this lesson for teaching your students about geometric constructions to give them a hands-on approach to learning. You can easily adapt any activity to meet the needs of your students. You could even evaluate their work by creating rubrics specific to each activity.
Check out what your students can do!
Geometric Construction Activities
It's a Takeover
Your students get to take over and teach their classmates specific geometric constructions.
- Drawing paper
- Writing paper
- Colored pencils, colored pens
- Resources on geometric construction
- Notes and texts
- Computers with internet (if available)
- Students will work individually, then with a partner.
- Divide your class into at least two groups. Each student in the group will be assigned a specific geometric construction to learn about and teach to another student.
- If you have 20 students, you could make five groups of four. Choose four different constructions to assign to students in each group. Do not overlap constructions within the same group.
- Ideas for constructions could include, but are not limited to, angle bisector, specific angles, equilateral triangle, line cut into specific number of line segments, center of a circle, inscribed pentagon, etc.
- Once a student is assigned a specific construction, allow time for them to collect information about it and practice drawing it.
- Students should practice drawing their constructions until they are close to perfect. At this time, students will write down their own steps for creating their geometric construction, including any tips they used along the way.
- Steps to construct specific geometric figures can be written on paper using colored pencils or colored pens to help organize and distinguish each step.
- Now students will partner up with another student from their group. They will teach one another, step-by-step, how to draw their geometric construction.
- Example: student one drew an inscribed pentagon. Student two drew an equilateral triangle.
- They will each teach their construction to one another and allow time to practice.
- (Optional) If you want students to make more drawings, you could pair them up with a new partner during another class.
- You could also have students go one at a time, teaching the whole group instead of partnering them up.
- Students may display finished drawings on a bulletin board in the classroom or hallway.
Your students get to combine art and math with this design.
- White drawing paper (at least 17 x 22 inches)
- Colored pencils, markers, crayons
- Resources on types of geometric constructions and how to create them
- Students will work individually.
- Have students imagine that the school is going to remodel one of the office windows. They've hired someone to create a stained glass window, but this person does not have time to design it. Your class has the opportunity to make their own designs. One of the designs will be selected to use as the window!
- You could possibly talk with administration and see if anything like this could be applicable to make it come to life for your students!
- Students must construct a design incorporating at least 5 different geometric constructions.
- Students must incorporate a border around the entire window.
- They could use constructions such as circles, triangles, various polygons, etc.
- They can use each construction more than once within the picture to create the entire window.
- Students must fill up the entire drawing sheet with their design.
- Allow students time to make a sketch of their design in their notebooks.
- Then, students will create their window designs.
- Display the designs on the board or somewhere where students can vote for their favorite one. Give each design a number. Have students look at all of the designs and vote for their favorite one!
- You could simply do a tally chart beside each picture for every vote it gets, or have students place a number in a bag/container.
- The design with the most votes would win the opportunity to be used as the stained glass window for the school!
Three in a Row
Students get to choose from a selection of geometric constructions to work on.
- Prepared set of instructions for drawing 9 geometric constructions (you may make the directions as specific or vague as necessary depending on students' levels):
- Possible ideas:
- Inscribed square
- Euler's line
- Triangles - inscribed and circumscribed
- Explore - circles, angles with specific measurement, and segments divided into equal parts
- Kite (or other quadrilateral)
- Nine-Point circle
- Napoleon's triangle theorem
- Polygon with 10 or more sides
- ''Freebie'' (students create any construction that wasn't listed and describe each step)
- Possible ideas:
- Prepared Tic-Tac-Toe sheet
- Grid of 9 squares with each geometric construction placed in a square
- Activities should be placed so that three in a row (diagonal, horizontal, or vertical) can be completed
- Drawing paper
- Students will work in groups of 2-3.
- Each group will get to select three out of nine projects to work on while creating geometric constructions. They must choose three in a row either diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.
- Students must draw each construction on a separate page and include the specific title of the construction.
- Allow time for students to work on constructions. Each student in the group must draw his/her own construction, but they may work together to help one another.
- When finished, students will cross off the three activities in a row that they completed.
- Each group will analyze their drawings and work by discussing questions such as:
- Which construction(s) were more challenging? Why?
- Did all group members find the same constructions challenging?
- If you were to complete this project again, would you select the same constructions? Explain why or why not.
- Finally, each group will write up the analysis of their constructions. Each group will turn in their constructions, Tic-Tac-Toe grid, and the group analysis.
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