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This lesson provided by:
Author:Sellers Kennington
System: Baldwin County
School: Fairhope Intermediate School
Lesson Plan ID: 24081

Build a City on Geometry


The students will be split into small, cooperative groups and build a city following specific guidelines. The students will learn how a city is constructed with angles, intersections, parallel, intersecting, and transversal streets. They will understand that buildings are located at particular points which are considered alternate interior or exterior angles, corresponding angles, etc.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

Content Standard(s):
MA2015(7) 15. Use facts about supplementary, complementary, vertical, and adjacent angles in a multistep problem to write and solve simple equations for an unknown angle in a figure. [7-G5]
MA2015(7) 16. Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume, and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms. [7-G6]
MA2015(8) 20. Use informal arguments to establish facts about the angle sum and exterior angle of triangles, about the angles created when parallel lines are cut by a transversal, and the angle-angle criterion for similarity of triangles. [8-G5]
Local/National Standards:

Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems
• use visual tools such as networks to represent and solve problems

• recognize and apply geometric ideas and relationships in areas outside the mathematics classroom, such as art, science, and everyday life

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will build a town or city using geometric terms. They will draw and identify parallel, perpendicular, and transversal lines. The will locate buildings on "street corners" or angles that are alternate interior and exterior angles, vertical and corresponding angles, and adjacent angles.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

ELA2007 (6) Compose in persuasive mode for a specific purpose and audience, including clearly stated opinions with supporting details and reasons or examples to influence thought or action. ELA2007 (7) Apply steps in the research process to identify a problem or issue, locate resources and information, and present findings. ELA2007 (7) Present findings from inquiry and research using a variety of resources.

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: Greater than 120 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Group checklist (provided) crayons, markers, or colored pencils construction paper poster board of any type any manipulatives the students wish to use to build the city (i.e. modeling clay, stickers, 3-dimensional objects.

Technology Resources Needed:

Student computer in classroom or access to a computer lab.
Google Earth
digital camera optional


Students must know the terms: parallel lines, perpendicular lines, transversal lines, adjacent angles, alternate interior angles, alternate exterior angles, corresponding angles, vertical angles, intersection

1.)Teacher should do a quick review of these terms: parallel lines, perpendicular lines, transversal lines, adjacent angles, alternate interior angles, alternate exterior angles, corresponding angles, vertical angles, intersection. Teacher could have a student define a term and give an example on the board of the term.

2.)Teacher will announce that the class will be working on a project that will take about a week. This project will be worked on in class and out of class. The class will be placed in groups for this project at random. One way to place groups at random is to have slips of paper with different shapes on them. If there are to be 4 in a group, there should be 4 slips of paper with the same picture on it. Place all the slips with shapes on them in a hat/basket. Have the students pull out a slip without looking--make sure you announce no trading or there will be a punishment (points taken off your project or something that matches your classroom policies). Once everyone has drawn their slip, assign a section of the room to each group and ask the students to go to their respected location.

3.)Once in the groups, hand out the city project worksheet (attached) to each student. Read aloud with the class the entire sheet. Answer any questions they might have. Today they should go ahead and assign "roles" to their group members.

4.)Now each group should begin brainstorming for their city. They should keep a record of their brainstorms. They may also research on the internet ideas of how to build a city or do a google earth search to see a city from the air. Allow 30-45 minutes of brainstorming in the classroom.

5.)Each day the students should have their materials in the classroom. They may not leave to get things out of lockers or call home for items. Each student MUST come prepared every day so time is used wisely.

6.)Depending on how well your students are working, allow 4-7 days in class actually building their city. If you see the class is playing around rather than getting involved, set a shorter deadline for the final project--there is no point in continuing a project that the students do not take seriously. If they are seriously involved in the construction, neatness, and creativity, allow more time--this will probably be what happens!

7.)When students turn in their final project, they must each turn in their brainstorm notes, write a sentence or two explaining what they think their partners did or did not contribute to the project, and the checklist with their name on it. The brainstorm notes let you see what they did; the sentences regarding group members gives you their perspective of teamwork; and the checklist is for you to grade the project.

8.) Each day as the students work in their groups, the teacher should be taking snapshots of their cooperative learning projects.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. city project checklist.rtf
Assessment Strategies:

City Project Checklist/Rubric (attached)


You could require buildings to be built out of particular 3-dimensional shapes. The teacher tells what shape each building should be, the student has to build the 3-D building out of paper, toothpicks, or any other manipulative they choose. The teacher can take the digital photos and design a photostory of the students' activities.


The checklist could be shortened. For instance, only require 2-3 parallel streets and 1 perpendicular and transversal street and have only 4 buildings. Also, provide a sheet with the definitions and an example of each term.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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