Geometry teaching gets three-dimensional with physical movement, songs, and cross-curricular connections in geography. Teaching geometry has never been so much fun!
- Learn geometric principles through a multiple intelligence approach
- Use movement to demonstrate knowledge of geometric principles
- Geometric Visual Cue Cards (available from LoneStar Learning)
- Geometry Lyrics printable
- Butcher paper or poster board, about five pieces
- Optional: Rockin' the Standards's Math Album (available on their website)
- Optional: CD player
- Optional: Geometry: 12 StudyJams! Interactive Math Activities
- You will need to order copies of the Geometric Visual Cue Cards. I recommend the set from LoneStar Learning.
- Make a copy of the Geometry Lyrics printable for each student.
- Using the butcher paper or poster board, cut out representations of the following quadrilaterals: square, rectangle, parallelogram, rhombus, and trapezoid.
- I recommend teaching geometric concepts through the series of songs presented here a week prior to your geometry introduction. You could even assign this as a homework assignment or practice singing these songs during transition times throughout the day.
- Optional: Order geometry songs through Rockin' the Standards's website. The song lyrics provided in the Geometry Lyrics printable are sung to well-known tunes, but I encourage you to support and purchase Rockin' the Standards's CD for your classroom instruction.
Part 1: Let There Be Music!
Step 1: Distribute the Geometry Lyrics printable and have the geometry cards ready to show to the class.
Step 2: Sing or play one or two of the songs for students to introduce the lesson. "Euclid" is a great one to start with.
Note: The song lyrics provided are sung to well-known tunes, but I encourage you to support and purchase Rockin' the Standards's CD for your classroom instruction. Playing the songs will also encourage student participation.
Part 2: Types of Angles
Step 1: Gather students to your meeting area. Model and sing the "Angles Song." Use your hands to demonstrate the angles (right, acute, and obtuse) throughout the song.
Step 2: Teach students the lyrics and hand motions. Perform the song together.
Step 3: Have the class incorporate more moves into the dance to complete the fun.
Part 3: Parallel, Perpendicular, and Intersecting Lines
Step 1: Model and sing a song about parallel and perpendicular lines, either the geometry lyrics for "Parallel or Perpendicular" or the StudyJams! karaoke song "Types of Lines" on the same topic.
Step 2: Have students jam to the music by crossing arms, raising both arms vertically, and making a "T" with both arms.
Part 4: Isosceles, Scalene, and Equilateral Triangles
Step 1: Introduce congruency to your students before introducing the triangle song.
Step 2: As you teach the "Triangle" song. I recommend using the Geometric Visual Cue Cards for a visual effect.
Optional: You may want to create a note version of the "Triangle" lyrics for your student's math journal for easy reference.
Part 5: Quadrilaterals
Step 1: Pass the butcher paper/poster board quadrilaterals out to five volunteers. Introduce students to the different shapes.
Step 2: Teach students the lyrics to "Quadrilateral Dance" and dance away with as much body incorporation as possible utilizing the geometry lyrics provided. Allow students to move freely during the main chorus portions of the quadrilateral song. You just might find yourself laughing and dancing along with the class!
Part 6: Reflection, Rotation, Translation
Step 1: These concepts can be difficult to grasp. The "Isometries" lyrics are a good start, but students will probably need more guidance here. There are a couple of chants and videos on TeacherTube, but creating simple movements with your hands is a quick and easy method to help support the concept. Here are the movements we used in class:
- Reflection: We started with closed hands and opened them up.
- Rotation: We grabbed one wrist, created a closed fist with the available hand, and moved our closed fist in a wide circle.
- Translation: We held one arm up in a vertical line, placing one hand on top of the other. Students then slid the hand down the arm towards the elbow.
Part 7: Let's Play "Geo Says"
Step 1: Begin with a simple game of "Geo Says." To play this game, you will need to show a visual representation of the various geometry terms learned in class. For example, a ray can be demonstrated with one arm out, fingers spread open.
Step 2: When students have learned the visual representations, use Simon Says principles as you ask students to show the following: acute angle, right angle, obtuse angle, line segment, point, ray, rotation, translation, reflection, parallel, intersecting, and perpendicular lines.
Step 3: Students who show the wrong representation (or show the representation when "Geo" doesn't say "Geo says"), they are eliminated.
Step 4: Continue until you declare a geometry winner.
Supporting All Learners
Learning geometry through a hands-on approach of music and dance will aid most of your students in learning the content. By providing a variety of ways to teach and incorporate geometry, you will reach every student in your classroom. Pairing this with other traditional methods used to teach geometry will ensure academic success for all.
- Create a "geo-me-tree" by using brown butcher paper and displaying math cards for the concepts learned in class.
- Using tape or chalk (if outside) have students create a dance incorporating geometric moves.
- Visit the Rockin' the Standards's site to see their recommendations. The band members are classroom teachers just like you and me!
- Visit sites like Scholastic's StudyJams! as well as TeacherTube.
This would be an excellent home and school connection as parents appreciate helping their child with resources other than a textbook and worksheets. Inform parents that your geometry unit is about to begin and ask them to help by providing time to practice the lyrics and movements with their child. Parents and students should have a fun time with this assignment as well.
- Math journal notes
- Traditional paper and pencil assignments
- Are students actively engaged through song and movement? If not, could it be a result of their learning style?
- Try the songs without the lyrics present. Can students sing along from memory?
- Try the songs without modeling the body movements. Which students seem to be struggling?
- Can students apply concepts learned through traditional paper and pencil methods?
- Provide a short quiz on the concepts taught. Use this like a pre-test to narrow in on what needs to be taught closely.
- Apply this to a traditional test. Our class did not open a textbook, yet all but two students scored a 95 percent or above when completing the traditional chapter test. Only two students scored in the "B" range.
- Use math journals to record notes of concepts learned. Students can also keep the geometry lyrics and geometry math cue cards in their notebook for future reference.
- Identify, compare, and analyze attributes of two-and three-dimensional shapes and develop vocabulary to describe the attributes
- Classify two- and three- dimensional shapes according to their properties and develop definitions of classes of shapes such as triangles and pyramids
- Investigate, describe, and reason about the results of subdividing, and transforming shapes
- Explore congruence and similarity
- Demonstrate their knowledge of angles, quadrilaterals, transformations, and parallel/perpendicular lines through body movement and song