In this lesson, students explore angle measure and distance from one point to another. The use known measures like 360 degree and 90 degree and manipulates the pattern blocks in order to find the measure of angles in pattern block shapes. They will use reasoning like the following: since there are 360 degree in circle and six triangles can fit together to fill a circle at the center, each angle of the hexagon block must be 60 degree. They will use those measures to give instructions reading direction. They will note the relationships among the lengths of the sides of the blocks, and use the information for giving length instructions.
This lesson involves concepts from the entire curriculum and prepares students for work on the individual investigation. Using their knowledge of distance and angle measurement, they create a wildlife refuge for the endangered Roseate Tern on Faulkner Island. They exchange maps with another group and follow their design of the wildlife refuge. They look for the best design. Each group writes a report of the investigation and makes an oral presentation to the class.
1. Setup: Separate the class into cooperative groups. Each group should receive wildlife refuge Cards A and B, patter paper, and a set of pattern blocks. If pattern blocks are not available, have students to create paper blocks from Card C.
2. Implementation: Introduce the lesson to the groups. Students should first make Faulkner island by piecing together pattern blocks. They should then use graft paper to record the island they create. They may need to tape two or more sheers of graft papers together to record their island. Suggest that each group record its wildlife refuge location on a separate piece of paper.
Remind students that they are to determine the angle of turn without using a protractor. You may want to ask questions like the following.
“You know there are 360 degree in a circle. How can you use hexagon blocks together to find the number of degrees in an angle of one of the hexagons?”
After each group has completed their map and design, groups should exchange maps and follow the design to find the best location for the wildlife refuge. They should verify the location with the group that created the map.
Each group should then complete the lesson on Wildlife Refuge Card “B”, analyzing the map, finding the best location, and explaining how they were able to determine the distance and angle measures. All group members should help prepare the group report.
3. Processing the lesson: Invite groups to present their reports. Discuss the methods the groups used to determine angle and distance measures, and the ratios they observed among the pattern blocks.
You may wish to have students work outside of the class on their reports.
The following journal prompts may be used with this lesson.
“What were the factors you had to consider in designing the wildlife refuge?
“What is one thing you learned about distance or angle measure from this lesson?”
There is no single correct answer for this lesson. However, students should be able to make a convincing argument to support their conclusions.