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Math Activity: Measuring Angles

This activity could take place in the museum or in the classroom. It is differentiated so educators can decide how best to adjust the level of instruction to fit students' abilities. 

Objective: Students will become familiar with vocabulary (angle, protractor, alignment, right, acute, obtuse). They will question how artists use line and measurement to create compositions. They will measure and create angles. For more ideas, see: Geddes Lesson Plan. 


1. How are angles used in daily life?

  • A baseball player moves across the field at various angles to catch a ball
  • A football player throws a pass at the correct angle for a receiver to catch the ball
  • When parking a car a driver uses the concept of angles to park in a particular space, especially when parallel parking
  • A pilot maneuvers an airplane using a variety of angles to fly and land
  • A contractor uses angles to build a house, a school, or any structure
  • A cook holds a knife at various angles to chop and prepare foods
  • A child uses angles to build a skateboard ramp or a bike jump
  • A child skis or sleds at various angles to complete a downhill run
  • A nurse adjusts a bed to create an angle that is comfortable for a patient
  • A student places books on a shelf at a slight angle to prevent them from tipping over
  • Umbrella’s can be tilted at an angel in order to stop rain or provide shade

Demonstrate how a protractor is used. Allow students to experiment. 

Activity: Print or project Frank Stella's lithographs and ask students to measure the angles using protractors. 

Ask them to adjust the angle of the V and reconstruct the artwork. How does changing the angle change the composition? Is it as effective?

Alternative: print Frank Stella's compositions and ask students to alter the color of the shapes, or to use them as coloring pages. How elements of art, such as color and line, contribute to the success of the work?

How do math and art properties combine here to create an interesting composition?


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Angle — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (June 29 2017 @ 10:53 am)
Frank stella — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (June 29 2017 @ 10:53 am)
Geometry — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (June 29 2017 @ 10:53 am)
Math — by Margaret Grace VanderVliet (June 29 2017 @ 10:52 am)

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Last Updated

July 17, 2017 11:02 a.m.


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