Identifying Parallel Lines in Geometric Shapes

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  • 0:01 Parallel Lines
  • 1:00 In a Rectangle
  • 1:42 In a Square
  • 2:09 In a Parallelogram
  • 3:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson to learn how you can spot parallel lines in a rectangle, in a square, and in a parallelogram. You will learn how many pairs of parallel lines each of these shapes has.

Parallel Lines

We are going to talk about parallel lines in this lesson. Two lines are parallel lines if the two lines are lines that never intersect. There are several common shapes that have pairs of parallel lines in them. We will look at three of these shapes in this lesson.

Why do we need to learn about parallel lines in shapes? Learning about parallel lines in shapes is actually quite useful. The people that build our road systems and homes use these shapes with parallel lines in them all the time. Imagine yourself flying in a helicopter above a city. What do you notice about the roads that go in the same direction in the city? Why, they are parallel lines; they don't intersect. And what do you notice about the city blocks that have the roads around them? Why, they are shapes with parallel lines around them.

Let's keep riding around in our helicopter to see what kinds of shapes our city blocks are in and how parallel lines surround these blocks.

In a Rectangle

Imagine that you are flying over New York City. You see this huge green area. What is that? It's Central Park in the middle of Manhattan.

new york city block

What shape is that? It's a rectangle. And guess what? It's surrounded by roads. Yes, there are several small roads that run through the park, but you can clearly see that the park covers an area that is rectangular in shape.

Rectangle and parallel lines

What do you notice about the roads that surround the park? The two roads that run on the long sides of the park are parallel because they never meet. The two roads that run along the shorter sides of the park are also parallel because they never meet either. So, that means that rectangles have two pairs of parallel lines.

In a Square

Let's keep flying and see what else we see.

new york city block

Look at this block. It looks like a square. What about the roads? Are they parallel? It looks like the square also has two pairs of parallel lines. Each pair of roads that run the same direction are parallel and there are two of these pairs. North Street and Evelyn Place are parallel roads and the other two roads that run in the other direction are also parallel.

In a Parallelogram

We keep flying and whoa, look at this block! It's neither a rectangle nor a square. But it, too, looks like it has parallel roads surrounding it.

new york city block

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