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Kites in Geometry: Definition and Properties

Kites in Geometry: Definition and Properties
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  • 0:05 A Kite
  • 0:46 Sides
  • 1:38 Angles
  • 2:50 A Rhombus and a Square
  • 3:28 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.

A kite in geometry looks a lot like a kite in the sky! Watch this video lesson to see for yourself. Also, learn about the side and angle properties of kites that make them unique.

A Kite

A kite is traditionally defined as a four-sided, flat shape with two pairs of adjacent sides that are equal to each other. Okay, so that sounds kind of complicated. But never fear, I will explain. See, a kite shape looks like a diamond whose middle has been shifted upwards a bit. The top two sides are equal to each other in length, as are the bottom two sides.

Another way of picturing a kite is to think of the old-school type of kite that people used to fly. When I was a kid, that was the kind of kite that I flew. It looked like a diamond with its center shifted upwards. It flew well, and I got it to fly really high.

Sides

So, a kite has four total sides. We can separate these four sides into two pairs of adjacent sides, or two pairs of sides that are next to each other. If you draw a kite similar to the flying kites, then the two pairs would be the top two sides and the bottom two sides. Each pair has a different measurement, but the sides in each pair are the same length. So, the top two sides will share the same length, and the bottom two sides will share a length, but the length of the top sides may be different from the bottom sides.

If you draw the diagonal lines connecting the opposite corners to each other, one of the diagonals intersects the other right in the middle. In other words, one of the diagonals bisects the other. If you are looking at a flying kite, usually it is the horizontal diagonal that is cut in half by the other.

Angles

The point where the diagonals meet is made up of right angles. Back in the day, when people made their own flying kites, they would actually start by making the diagonals. They would take two sticks and place one stick perpendicular to the other stick. Then they finished the kite by wrapping this frame with kite fabric. You can see clearly below that the point where the diagonals intersect is made up of right angles.

The point where the diagonals intersect is made of right angles.
image of kite showing right angles

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