Elementary Mathematics
Material Type:
Upper Elementary
Lesson Plan, intersecting, math, parallel, perpendicular, photography
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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Education Standards

Parallel and Perpendicular Photography

Parallel and Perpendicular Photography


Introduce the concepts of parallel and perpendicular with a photography project.

Parallel and Perpendicular © 2022 by Breanne Kingdon is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit


This lesson uses photography to help students learn about parallel and perpendicular lines by finding them in their environment and taking pictures to share with the class. This is a face-to-face lesson that will take 50 minutes.

Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Learning Intentions:

  • Students will be able to identify two lines as parallel, perpendicular, or intersecting.
  • Comon Core Standard: 4.G.1 Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, and obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two dimensional figures.

Success Criteria:

  • Students will lable two lines as parallel, perpendicular, or intersecting.

Step 2 - Planning Instruction


Student Background Knowledge

Prior to this lesson, students will need to know about points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles (right, acute, and obtuse) 

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Have definitions with drawings of all important vocabulary words for students to reference. Give students the option of working with a partner or on their own. 

Step 3 - Instruction


  • Start the lesson by reviewing point, line, line segment, ray, right angle, acute angle, and obtuse angle posters. 
  • Tell students that that today they will be learning three new words: parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting. Add posters with drawings on the wall.
  • They will also get to learn a little more about photography. Changing the distance between you and your subject can have a big impact on a picture. Show a wide, mediam and tight picture. 
  • Explain that today students will be finding parallel, perpendicular, and interesting lines and taking two pictures of each, changing how close they are to the subject. for the tight picture students should try to get the two lines in the picture. Students can work on their own or with a partner. When they are done. When they are done taking pictures they should use Creative Cloud Express to create a poster with their pictures. I would like them to create a citation for their image so we know where it came from. For the citation they should come up with a name for their picture, the date it was taken, and their names. Discuss the importance of citing images.
  • Go over the rubric with students.
  • Give students time to take picutres. Go outside for 5 minutes, in the hall for 5 minutes, and finish in the classroom for 5 minutes. Then have students create their poster and submit it to google classrooms.
  • When everyone is done with the project project students work so everyone can see. Have students look at a photograph and on the count of three say which vocabulary word goes with the picture. Watch for an oportunity to discuss:
    • A square or a rectangle has parallel lines and perpendicular lines.
    • parallel lines are a special type of intersecting line that create right angles
    • Most lines we see in buildings are parallel or perpendicular.
    • What shapes had intersecting lines that were not perpendicular?
    • Was it easier to find the line segments inside or outside.