Math Games with Parallel & Perpendicular Lines

Written by beverlee brick
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Teaching essential math concepts is often simply a matter of repetition. The more times students repeat or apply a math fact, the faster they learn and the better they retain. One of the best ways to encourage repetition is to disguise it within a game. For memorising the difference between parallel and perpendicular lines, there are several fun activities a teacher can introduce into the classroom.

The Tongue Twister

Prepare a deck of 20 cards, labelling 10 with a pair of perpendicular lines and 10 with a pair of parallel lines. It's best to make all similar lines identical to allow students to focus on the skill of the game. Shuffle the cards and place the deck face down. Flip the top card for the student to name "parallel" or "perpendicular" within three seconds. If right, continue to the next card. If wrong, the turn passes to the next student. Once students can reliably work through the entire deck, compete to see which students can complete the deck the fastest.

Body Language

Divide students into teams of two. When a leader calls out "parallel" or "perpendicular," the pairs must lie on the floor either parallel or perpendicular to one another. The fastest team to lie down correctly gets to be leaders for the next round.

Counting Lines

Draw a shape on the board. Students or teams of students compete to count the number of parallel and perpendicular sets of lines in the shape. For example, a square has two sets of parallel lines and four sets of perpendicular lines. As students improve, draw more complex shapes or sets of shapes on the board.

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