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Introducing Angles

Teacher Guide by Anna Warfield

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Elementary School Category!

Introductory Angle Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Introducing Angles Include:

The basics of angles are so important! Angles play a critical role in geometry and are the foundation for trigonometry. When learning and classifying polygons, one of the things we look at is the number of angles or the size of interior angles. Understanding the rotation of angles will certainly be relevant in trigonometry with sine, cosine, and tangent, but even just understanding if an angle is big (obtuse or reflex) or small (acute) makes a difference in elementary geometry. On Storyboard That, students can construct physical representations of polygons using various items for sides, and they will see that the size of the angle directly affects the side length of triangles and other polygons, connecting to types of triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem, perimeter, and more.

We can identify the type of polygon by the number of angles too! Quadrilateral also indicates quadrangle. “Four sides” means four angles. “Six sides” means six angles. “Twenty-seven sides” means twenty-seven angles. Irregular polygons may even have reflex angles that students wouldn’t normally be able to identify because they are so big or so strange. Angles may seem straightforward, but they are actually very involved and crucial to geometry and beyond.

Introducing Angles Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Types of Angles

Use a storyboard to highlight important ideas in a lesson. “Types of Angles" is a storyboard that might be best used for introducing angles. You may also wish to show only a few frames of a more comprehensive slide show to focus on the day’s topics, or use such a storyboard for students who need to catch up or have a re-teaching session.

For this activity, students can create their own examples of the types of angles using any of the templates in Storyboard That. Most of our storyboard layouts provide formats that would allow students to show examples of the different kinds of angles. Students can create angles using arrows or segments, or they can place segments over Storyboard That images, objects, or scenes to show angles in everyday life.

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Angle Degrees

Use a storyboard as supplemental material to give more information or to clarify concepts already introduced.

Have students create their own storyboard examples of angles using turn, such as having a character look somewhere (like the sailor example in “Degrees”), have something or someone pivot, use the angle of the sun/moon at a certain time of day, use fraction circles, or come up with your own fun examples. Use basic and/or approximate angles such as 30°, 45°, 60°, 90°, 120°, and 135°. If possible, combine all examples together to make a big poster about angles!

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Measuring Angles

Protractors are difficult tools. Seeing an angle as acute or obtuse is fairly straightforward, but trying to figure out exactly how many degrees are in the angle gets tricky. Be sure to point out all the parts of the protractor before showing how to use it, including the two sets of increasing and decreasing numbers. You can use a storyboard like “How to Use a Protractor” to demonstrate how to use the tool, but such a storyboard may be more beneficial for re-teaching or review.

“Measuring Angles” is a simple chart with a little Storyboard That flair. Students need to identify the type of angle, and then measure the angle with a protractor. Identifying if the angle is obtuse or acute will help students choose the appropriate set of numbers. It is certainly possible to use the protractor in Storyboard That to measure the angles on screen, but printing out the page would be easier for little hands to turn. Students have to get used to angles in all directions, and may not be ready to read a protractor upside down!

Search math or protractor in the search bar for the transparent protractor item in the Storyboard Creator!

“Draw and Measure” is a more advanced version of the same activity. The biggest difference is that students would be required to use a protractor to construct angles. It is probably more important to print out this storyboard to enable and encourage students to construct angles in any direction.

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Supplementary and Complementary Angles

Supplementary Angles

Two angles that make a straight line together are called supplementary angles. A line, or straight angle, measures 180 degrees.


Complementary Angles

Two angles that make a right angle together are called complementary angles. A right angle measures 90 degrees.



In this activity, students measure angles that supplementary or complementary. They are already given the measurement of the large angle (90° or 180°), and they need to find the values of the smaller angle measures. Hopefully, some students will recognize that they really only need to measure one of the angles and then subtract from the whole - or maybe you will explicitly teach that to your students. Discuss efficiency, double-checking, and problem-solving with your students to help their minds prepare to face new challenges with the knowledge they already know.

For some students, using a protractor is extremely difficult, so they may need additional practice, modified assignments, or, most likely, both. Another way to tackle angle measures as additive is to use equations, such as 36° + h = 124°, with or without drawings. With only diagrams of angles, students can figure out how to set up an equation on their own. Without drawings, students strictly use algebra to find the value of the unknown variable rather than using a protractor to find the angle measurements. Both skills in algebra and tool manipulation are important and neither should be neglected.

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