Angles & Triangles in Real Life – Year 6/KS2 Learning

Maths is such an important topic to learn because it really is everywhere in the real world. In fact some people even believe that by just living life you can pick up all the maths that you need to survive. Unfortunately I hear a lot of people do not like maths, but personally I just feel that they have been taught it in a way that doesn’t quite work for them.

equilateral triangle

I think learning maths in a real life situation is going to help with understanding and committing it to memory. Things that are visual are more concrete so that will help store them in long term memory also. The obvious things that come to mind in teaching a UK Year 6/Key Stage 2 maths at home are probably by using baking or fractions when cutting up cake or pizza.

Part of the Key Stage 2 Year 6 Curriculum involves being able to identify the different types of angles and triangles. I thought that a good way to achieve this was by considering how they are each used in the real world – for what purposes. So first we learnt about each type and then we went for a walk and identified the angles and triangles that we could find.

angles in real life

I took photos of them and when we got home we labelled them, then I had them printed out and stuck them on the fridge.

The Different Types of Angles

  • Right Angle is 90 degrees.
  • Acute angles are less than 90 degrees.
acute angle triangle
  • Obtuse Angle is more than 90 degrees but less than 180 degrees.
  • Reflex Angle is greater than 180 degrees but less than 360 degrees.

Identifying Different Types of Triangles

Whilst we did our walk the boys also had a sheet with the different types written on it so we could make sure that we were able to identify them all and not miss any out. Right angled triangles were fairly easy to spot but we did struggle with finding an obtuse triangle and in the end we had to improvise.

recording angles and triangles whilst out on a walk

The Different Types of Triangle

Right Angled Triangle is one in which one of the angles is a right angle (90 degrees).

Equilateral Triangle has 3 equal sides and angles. All angles are 60 degrees which means that they are acute.

isosceles triangle gate

Isosceles Triangle has (at least) two equal sides. Therefore an equilateral triangle is also an isosceles triangle, but not all isosceles triangles are equilateral (if only 2 sides are the same they would have acute angles).

Obtuse triangles have an angle which is more than 90 degrees but less than 180.

Scalene Triangle is when all the sides and angles are different. Right angled triangles can also be scalene.

Why don’t you go for a walk and see what different angles and triangles you can find. Why do you think they were used? Think about how engineers might chose different angles and triangles for different things?

triangle used for basketball hoop