Interactive Geometry: 3rd Graders Dive into Triangles

Third-grade students explore various types of triangles through hands-on activities, as well as the use of iPads. The series of lessons includes students building triangles themselves, organizing the information they discover into Numbers, and ultimately bringing the triangles to life through animation!

Here is a brief outline of these lessons:

First, students partake in a lesson where they use the ‘Box of Geometry Sticks’ (a Montessori manipulative) to create a variety of triangles. Alongside the teacher, students create seven different triangles and label them with the correct name. Once completed, it might look something like this:

 

After students build and classify the triangles, they work on summarizing the information in Numbers on iPad. In small groups, the teacher leads a discussion on how this could be organized and what the different titles for the columns and rows are. The charts typically look something similar to one of these two samples:

 

 
Next, students use the app ChatterPix to animate the triangles! The goal is to have each type of triangle introduce themselves - what their name is, and why. Students refer to the chart they made in Numbers, so they know exactly what information they need to include.

 


There are many ways to scaffold students' learning and support them during this part of the lesson. To help students identify the triangles, they can be given tools such as a ruler to check the lengths of the sides and/ or a protractor to measure the angles. Additionally, rather than selecting a triangle from a pile, the triangles could be laid out in a chart-like fashion, similar to the one they created on Numbers. Then, students could select one at a time, and the heading would tell the student the exact name of that triangle.

 

Finally, students can place all of their triangle animations from ChatterPix into BookCreator. It can then be added to their virtual classroom library, shared as a video for others to watch (in other classrooms, too!), and even shared with their families.

Based on student ability, time, and resources, you might choose for each student to simply complete one ‘talking triangle’, and then make a class book together!

I’ve also done a very similar lesson where students learn about different three-dimensional geometric shapes! 

Happy Learning!

All Replies

Posted on January 20, 2024

This is great, Shauna! I love the blend of hands-on, tactile learning with shapes and the use of IPad with the Camera, Numbers, and Chatterpix! Fantastic work!

An interesting extension on this (maybe for slightly older students?) could be to use the Measure App to measure the triangles, or use other apps to measure the angle, and enter the data into Numbers? 💡 🤔

Posted on January 22, 2024

Thanks!

Love the idea of using the Measure App. Definitely going to add it to my notes for next year!

Posted on February 01, 2024

Such a cool idea! I bet the students had a blast making the triangles talk with ChatterPix. I really like the idea of a collaborative book, where each student makes 1 video.

I’m adding the idea of using Numbers to create of matrix of the shared qualities to my list of ideas for this semester!

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