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Lines, Rays, and Angles

This fourth grade geometry lesson teaches the definitions for a line, ray, angle, acute angle,
right angle, and obtuse angle. We also study how the size of the angle is ONLY determined by
how much it has "opened" as compared to the whole circle. The lesson contains many varied
exercises for students.

This is point A.
When two points are connected with a straight
Points are The sides of a triangle
line, we get a line segment. We call this line
named are line segments.
segment AB or line segment AB (note the bar on
with capital
top).
letters.

A line has no beginning point or end point. Imagine it continuing indefinitely in both directions.
We can illustrate that by little arrows on both ends.

We can name a line using two points on it. This is line EF or line (note the arrowheads).
Or, we can name a line using a lowercase letter: this is line s.

A ray starts out at a point and continues off to infinity. We can


show
that by drawing an arrow at one end of the ray. Think of the sun's
rays:
they start at the sun and go on indefinitely.

We can name a ray using its starting point and one other point
that is
on the ray: this is ray QP or ray (note the one arrowhead). Or,
we can
name a ray using a lowercase letter: this is ray r.
What is an angle? Many people think that an angle is some kind of
slanted line. But in geometry an angle is made up of two rays that
have the same beginning point.

That point is called the vertex and the two rays are called the sides
of the angle.

To name an angle, we use three points, listing the vertex in the


middle.
This is angle DEF or ∠DEF. We can use the symbol ∠ for angle.

1. Write if each figure is a line, ray, line segment, or an angle, and name it.

a. ___________________ b. ___________________ c. ___________________


____ ____ ____
d. ___________________ e. ___________________ f. ___________________
____ ____ ____

2. a. Find the angle formed by the rays DE and DF.


How do we name it?

b. Find the angle formed by the rays CA and CE.


How do we name it?

c. What is BD? (a line, a line segment, or a ray)?

3. a. Draw two points, D and E. Then draw line DE.

b. Draw point Q not on the line.

c. Draw rays DQ and EQ.

d. Find angles EDQ and DEQ in your drawing.

Imagine that the two sides of the angle start side by side, and
then
open up to a certain point. When the two sides “open up”, they
draw
an imaginary arc of a circle. (You can illustrate this with two
pencils as the
two sides of an angle. Keep one pencil stationary while you rotate
the other.)
This angle is half of the full
circle,
so it measures 180°. It is called
the straight angle. This is one-fourth of the
full circle, so it is 90°.
Your two pencils (rays) are
If the angle opens up to a full lying This is called the right
circle, we say the angle is down flat or straight on the angle. Table and book
360 degrees (360°). floor. corners are right angles.

In each of these pictures the angle is opened more and more and The angle is opened even
keeps getting bigger. The arc of the circle is larger. more now. It is an obtuse
angle: an angle that is
These angles are acute angles, which means they are less than a
more than a right angle,
right angle (less than 90°). Think of acute angles as sharp angles. If
yet less than a straight
someone stabbed you with the vertex of an acute angle, it would
angle.
feel sharp.
Think of obtuse angles as
dull angles.

Here's
another
way of
thinking
about
angles.
Think of
a sun
rising in
the
morning
in the
horizon,
graduall
y getting
higher,
and
traveling
through
the sky
along an
arc of a
circle.

How big is the angle?

It does not matter how long the sides of the angle are. Remember, they are rays, and rays go
on indefinitely. But when we draw them on paper, we have to draw them as ending
somewhere.

The sides of the angle might even seem to have different lengths. That doesn't matter
either. The size of the angle is ONLY determined by how much it has “opened” as compared to
the whole circle. Think how big an arc of a circle the sides have drawn, as compared to a whole
circle.

Which of these two angles is bigger?


Look at how much the angle has opened?
How big a part of a circle have the sides drawn?
The second angle (on the right) is bigger.

Many times the arrows are omitted from the rays,


and the
arc of the circle is drawn as a tiny arc near the
vertex.
Even that is not necessary. Which of these is a
bigger angle?
Again, the second one.

4. Which angle is bigger?


a. O b O c O
R . R . R

d O e O f. O
. R . R R

5. a. Sketch three different


acute angles.

b. Sketch three different


obtuse angles.

c. Sketch a right angle


and a straight angle.

6. Label the angles as acute, right, obtuse, or straight. To help, make these angles
with two pencils, checking how much you need to open up the angle.
a. b. c.

d. e. f.

g. h. i.

7. A triangle has three angles. In fact, the word tri-angle means a three-angled
shape.
Which of the
triangles
a, b, or c
has one
obtuse
angle? a. b. c.

Which has
one right
angle?

8. (Optional) Make a geometry notebook where you write down each new term and
draw a picture or
pictures that illustrate the term. Use colors and tidy writing. It is like your
personal geometry
dictionary. You can also do any drawing problems from the lessons in it.
Drawing and writing
yourself, instead of just reading, can help you remember the terms better!