Make it Parallel – An Activity with Parallel Lines

I find making the relationship among parallel lines and transversals real-world tough. So instead of real-world I went with Fake-World but making sure I incorporated space for curiosity and inquiry.

Here’s what we did…

I started class with a What do you wonder? What do you notice?

We recorded our wonderings. IMG_3327

Most students didn’t know what to say about it. Next I replayed the video and said, “I want you to yell NOW when the two white lines are parallel”

Kids were yelling out at about the same time……”Good, it’s awesome you guys can ball park when two lines are parallel”. Now Let’s create parallel lines.

I had already set up situations like this all over the hall, classroom, and outside. The prompt from me was “Create another line that cuts the transversal and is parallel to the first line. ” I also gave each group a set of pull back cars to “test out” their newly formed parallel lines…..We used them to show that the two cars won’t cross paths. Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.58.44 AM

I let each group struggle with how to figure this out. I gave them all a metre stick, protractor, and markers/chalk.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.06.00 PM

We had discussions on how we know the two lines are parallel. I pushed each group to develop the angle relationships around the transversal.

Once each group had made the new path, they were to grab their iPad and access the Explain Everything file on Parallel Lines & Transversals. They were to use the interactive features such as the protractor, and pen tools to determine the answers to the questions.




Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.18.50 PM


Download the Explain Everything Files Now

That was out lesson on discovering properties of parallel lines and transversals. Feel free to drop me a message for any improvements/feedback!!

Check out more great Explain Everything activities:

Cathy Yenca (@mathycathy) – Using Explain Everything for Hands-On Digital Puzzles

Kyle Pearce (@mathletepearce) –

From me: