Math Tourist: Trees Lean in the Woods

Essential Question for students (objective):  How can you identify angles in the natural world?
Supplies:   video (length 0:41), note-maker

CCSS: 4.MD.5 Use Tools Strategically TEKS: 4.6 A,C Select tools
Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group or individual work

Time needed: 10 minutes +

Lesson Description: There are many ways to use this video in your math class.  I filmed it with the express purpose of recognizing angles and angle measurements in the natural world. 

1) You can show this video (0:41) at the beginning of a unit on angles, rays, and lines as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about geometry.  You can have them work on the question at the end of daily lessons (or once a week) armed with new knowledge that they are exploring in class.  Students use the note-maker to help record their ideas (you are going to need to pause the video and have students look at the pictures closely).  Or you could revisit the video at the end of the unit as a formative check to see what the students have learned about classifying and measuring angles and whether they can apply that knowledge.

2) You could show this video as a warm-up activity after the students have learned some basic angle work.  It is a great way to show context to angles that isn’t the same old drawings in textbooks.

Extensions:  Do certain trees grow straighter than others?  What would cause the trees to grow at angles when others don’t?

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