6 Manipulatives For Teaching Angles And Its Related Concepts

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Many people essentially don’t have a particular liking for math and its concepts. Geometry, being a part of it, may fall under the same category of dislike for many students. However, if taught through viable ways like educational apps, following responsive websites, podcasts, using the right manipulatives, teaching approaches, etc; even a subject like geometry can become a favorite to many.

Manipulatives, being an integral part of learning geometry are of various types and sorts that can be used to teach angles. Therefore, in this post, we will be discussing the apt manipulatives to teach angles to students and how to benefit from them. Read more below.

Manipulatives to teach angles: How will it change the class environment

Manipulatives are of multiple types. Some of these are physical objects, while others are digital or online tools. Let’s have a look at them and undermine how these manipulatives can change the air of learning geometry in the classroom.

1. Physical Manipulatives

Physical manipulatives can be used to help students visualize and understand angles. Some common physical manipulatives that can be used to teach angles include protractors, rulers, and compasses.

2. Digital and Online Manipulatives

There are also a number of digital and online manipulatives that can be used to teach angles. These manipulatives can be found on websites, in apps, and even in video games. Some popular digital and online manipulatives for teaching angles include angle finders, angle measures, and angle games.

Way to use manipulatives to teach angles

When using manipulatives to teach angles, it is important to provide students with opportunities to explore and experiment. Students should be encouraged to try different manipulatives and to use them in different ways. It is also important to provide guidance and support as needed.

Here are some ideas for using manipulatives to teach angles:

  • Have students use a ruler and a compass to draw angles of different sizes.
  • Have students use an angle finder or measure to identify the angles in everyday objects (e.g., doorways, windows, furniture).
  • Play an angle game with students and challenge them to identify angles of different sizes.
  • Use a digital or online manipulative to help students visualize and understand angles.
  • Have students create their own angles using physical manipulatives.

With a variety of manipulatives available, there are many ways to teach angles. By providing opportunities for exploration and experimentation, students can learn about this important topic in a fun and engaging way.

Manipulatives to teach angles concepts to little learners

There are 8 interesting manipulatives that can help students who are on the quest to learn this vast, yet inevitable topic of angles.

1. Geoboard


Geoboard is a manipulative used by teachers to help students understand geometric concepts. They can be used to teach a variety of topics, including angles, area, perimeter, and fractions.

Geoboard is an important geometry manipulative because it allows students to physically manipulate objects and see the results of their actions. This kinesthetic learning style can be beneficial for students who struggle with abstract concepts. It is also versatile and can be used to teach a variety of topics. When teaching angles, for example, students can use geoboards to measure angles, create angle bisectors, and compare acute, obtuse, and right angles.

2. Angle Sticks

Angle sticks

There are many ways to teach angles, but one of the most effective is through the use of angle sticks. Angle sticks are simply two sticks that are placed together at one end to form an angle. By manipulating the angle sticks, students can easily visualize and understand various concepts related to angles.

Some of the key concepts that can be taught with angle sticks include:

  • Angles can be measured in degrees.
  • The size of an angle is determined by the amount of rotation needed to close the angle.
  • Angles can be classified as acute, obtuse, or right angles based on their size.
  • Complementary and supplementary angles have a special relationship.
  • Angles can be added and subtracted.

Angle sticks are a versatile and essential geometry manipulative that every teacher should have in their classroom. With a little creativity, they can be used to teach a wide variety of concepts related to angles.

3. Cuisenaire rods

Cuisenaire rods

Using these rods of different sizes helps in learning angles in a much simpler fashion. These rods, when put together, can make any two-dimensional shape. These rods have different size and colors to distinguish them easily. 

To teach angles using Cuisenaire rods,

  • start by introducing the concept of angles and explaining that they are measured in degrees.
  • Next, demonstrate how to measure angles using a protractor.
  • Finally, have students use Cuisenaire rods to create angles of their own and then measure them.

When introducing the concept of angles, be sure to explain that they are formed when two lines intersect.

4. K’NEX models

KN'NEX Models

These versatile tools teach angles in an easy manner. Primarily, it is used to familiarize students with common angles such as 45, 90, 120, 180, and 360 degrees. These angles are prominently used in all geometry problems. K’NEX models comprise two straight thin rods and a connector. The connector has 10 different joints where the rods can be fixed. In doing so, students can make any type of angle using the rods as turning mediums. For example, both the rods are right angle to each other and would make a 90 degrees angle. Similarly, when placed straight in a line, they form a 180 degrees angle.

5. Masking Tape

masking tape

All you need is a long whiteboard, some tape, and different color sketch pens for this activity. Using the tape, you can create intersecting lines on the whiteboard and mark the angles on the points when the lines cross each other. This would allow students to understand many angles in one place. 

Draw straight lines on the board, dividing it into many sections. Use different colored sketch pens to mark the angles at each intersection of the lines. For example, mark all the 90 degrees angles with red and all the 180-degree angles with blue. Then ask the students to use the tape to mark more lines on the board and calculate complex angles. The primary objective of this activity is to make students understand different types of angles, such as acute, obtuse, opposite, and corresponding. They would also have a thorough knowledge of reinforcing angles on a straight line that would always add up to 180 degrees. Simultaneously, all the angles around a single point on the board would add up to make 360 degrees angles.

6. Teaching Clocks

teaching clock

Large or mini clocks help teach angles in the classrooms. The hands of the clock form these angles. It teaches students the concept of time and the measurement of angles between the needles of the clock.

Every clock is divided into 12 equal intervals. The center at which both the needles are connected makes a 360-degree angle. The measure of each interval is 30 degrees. Place a clock at every table in the classroom. Ask students to change the time of the clock period and calculate the angle between the clock’s needles. To simplify it, tell the students to place the clock’s needles at 180 degrees to each other and ask them the time. Similarly, you can ask them what angle the needles make when the time is 3:15 or 3:30.

How can effective ways of using manipulatives can change the class environment?

Studies indicate that the use of manipulatives has a direct effect on the students’ learning. They don’t have to hold as much information in their working memory while using these techniques. This allows them to focus on the task more wherein the learning outcomes are result-driven. Here’s how manipulatives can change a class’s environment if taught effectively.

  • The use of manipulatives improves students’ mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
  • Manipulatives help make abstract mathematical ideas concrete and easy to grasp.
  • These allow students to explore using a developmentally appropriate hands-on approach. 
  • Manipulatives help students to understand geometry and the different variants of angles conceptually. 
  • Through different tools, students receive knowledge and gain the confidence to raise questions in the practical learning session.
  • Thus, it provides students the concrete awareness of angles and the hands-on experience of actually touching and feeling manipulatives. Rather than looking at the angles symbolically on paper. 


There are a variety of ways to teach angles using manipulatives. By using new ways and techniques, one can easily explore and use objects, and they can develop a deeper understanding of angle measurement. Some common manipulatives that can be used to teach angles include protractors, compasses, triangles, and rulers.

When using these manipulatives, it is important to provide clear instructions and demonstrations. Students should also be given opportunities to practice measuring angles on their own. With some guidance and practice, one can merrily develop the skills needed to accurately measure angles.

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