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Grades 4 - 5


In this lesson students will learn the definition of geometry and how geometry relates to the real world through the use of interactive video. They will extract geometric shapes from images of people, places and things they see in everyday life. Students will identify congruent geometric shapes, and then analyze geometric shapes used in simple machines.
ITV Series
"Landscape of Geometry 101: The Shape of Things"
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
per class group

Per Student
Pre-Viewing Activities
The teacher will have set out on a table an assortment of simple machines (those listed in the Materials section of this lesson).

Teacher asks, "What do all these items have in common? Feel free to pick them up and examine them." Allow time for responses. "Today we are going to learn about how all these items are related to one another through math, or more specifically, through geometry.
Focus Viewing
To give students a specific responsibility while viewing, ask students to listen for the words geometer, geometry and congruent and the definition of each.

Viewing Activities
Teacher says, "Now we'll begin a video about geometry. Watch the introduction and see how many different shapes you can identify. I'll ask you to name them when I pause the video."

START video at the title, "The Landscape of Geometry...Program 1"

PAUSE when title with narrator's name appears. Ask students, " What shapes did you see during the opening?" Acknowledge answers. "Now please listen for the word "geometer." Raise your hand when you hear it AND when you think you know what it means."

RESUME video.

PAUSE the video when students raise hands to ask them what "geometer" may mean. (A person who studies geometry). [It doesn't matter where the video is paused at this point, because the word "geometer is repeated several times.] Validate students answers and allow them time to record the definition on their worksheet. Teacher asks, "So, what is geometry? Let's keep watching the video to listen for a definition. Raise your hand when you have the answer."

RESUME video.

PAUSE after "that's geometry, the study of shapes and how they relate to each other in space." Have students repeat definition and then record it on the worksheet. While image is on the screen, invite several students to draw on the TV screen what shapes they see in the person. "Now let's try to focus on imaginary shapes - ones that are not so easily seen, but are there just the same. Listen for their names."

PAUSE after "a point so small that it has no size at all." With the use of their hands, say to students, "Show a line that has no depth." Ask students, " Make a square with your hands that has no depth." (They should be drawing in the air.) " Also make a circle that has no depth." (e.g. what hand signal do we use to indicate that everything is okay?) Can you identify what shapes make up the body you are about to see?

RESUME and MUTE video. While the video is playing ask students to call out shapes they see in the body shape.

PAUSE after " the rough geometry out there in the real world." Ask students to come to the TV screen and draw over the cliffs what shapes they can identify in the landscape. "Now I want you to listen and learn to find out what computers can do with geometry."

RESUME video.

STOP at the outline of the house when it is not filled in, after the third window is drawn. Teacher says, "Now I want you to look at the drawing of the house on your worksheet. It is the same as the one on the video. I would like you to look at it and see it through the eyes of a geometer. Can you please use your colored pencils and decipher the geometric shapes in the house. Color each geometric shape you see a different color." Allow time for drawing of shapes on the house. "Let's watch the video to see if your design matched the computer image."

RESUME video.

STOP after the grass around the house is colored in. Check student understanding for finding shapes in things. Teacher says, "Now you have a sense of how geometry impacts the real world. As the video continues, I want you to be looking for patterns you may see. This is another part of geometry. Be alert, for I will ask you to identify the patterns you see."

RESUME video.

PAUSE at "look at the pattern of windows on this building." Teacher asks students to describe any patterns they see. Acknowledge their comments."While we watch, raise your hand if your pattern is described." Validate student responses during the video.

RESUME video.

PAUSE after all the windows are filled in with color to verbally acknowledge how the class did with figuring out the patterns. "Now listen for a new word. It will help to explain shapes that are the same size."

RESUME video.

PAUSE when "exactly the same size and shape" is repeated for the second time. Ask students to repeat the word congruent and then explain what it means. They will then take a moment or two to record it on their information sheet. Teacher directs, "Now while the video is playing look for other objects that may be congruent. Raise your hand if you see some and I'll call on your directly."

RESUME AND MUTE. All the while, acknowledge raised hands and allow students to identify congruent objects.

STOP video where David is standing in front of the trucks with the towers on a table.
Post-Viewing Activities
"We have learned about shapes and congruency through this video. Now let's put that learning to work to see how well you can relate your new geometry knowledge to the science of simple machines."

"All the items on the table that you looked at before the video are called simple machines." [Note: These are the simple machines listed in the Materials section of this lesson] " What are some of their names?" Validate answers. "A simple machine is called such because it is an object which works like a machine, yet is constructed from very simple parts. I want you to look again at the simple machines in front of you as though they were constructed of geometric shapes. Choose three or four simple machines which are intriguing to you. On a blank piece of paper, please draw these simple machines using only geometric shapes. You are welcome to hold and examine each item. Remember, you are looking at simple machines as though you were a geometer, seeing shapes as the main components."

Allow students ample time to analyze, manipulate and draw the geometric shapes of simple machines on their worksheets. Share results with class.
Action Plan
1. Organize a class trip (have students write a letter asking for permission) to a local hardware store. Ask the vendor to show students other simple machines and how they are designed using geometry.

2. Walk through your neighborhood and try to determine congruency in homes. Would a builder do this for ease of construction and planning?

3. Take a tour of a downtown area and examine the architecture of buildings. Focus on various shapes and how many examples of congruency can be found.

1. Design a variety of buildings using only cut-out geometric shapes (e.g. a skyline, a landscape)
2. Try to design a pattern with congruent pieces.
3. Use congruent puzzle pieces to design a pair of earrings.

Language Arts

1. Design a tool using geometric shapes. Write a description of this tool - what it is called, what its purpose is and how it works.


1. Look for and identify various patterns in nature - flowers, animal skins, plants
2. Using a set of building blocks, ask students to construct a type of simple machine.


Math Mini Mysteries, by Sandra Markle

The Amazing Book of Shapes, by Lydia Sharman

Patterns, by Ivan Bullock

Insides, Outsides, Loops and Lines, by Herbert Kohl


Click here to view the worksheet associated with this lesson.

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