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Geometry Unit 4: Circles and Volume

Gips and Quips Classroom Activity
This activity will help students derive using similarity the fact that the length of the arc
intercepted by an angle is proportional to the radius, and define the radian measure of
the angle as the constant of proportionality. Here, students will create their own angle
measure. After students have created their angle measure, generate discussion that will
lead them to discovering the meaning of radians and that there are always 2π of any
circle’s radius along its circumference.
Materials
 Wax thread (Wikki Stix) that can bend and be cut (if not available, use string)
 Scissors
 Blank protractors: have multiple blank pieces of paper multiples of three different
sizes cut into semi-circles
 Ruler
Instructions
 Assume a group of individuals decided to measure an angle in a unit called Gips,
where any circle is 8 Gips. Create a protractor to measure any angle in Gips.
o Students will want to use the folding method. Allow them to do so, but
ask them to use another method of creating the protractor after they create
a protractor using the folding method.
 Assume a group of individuals decided to measure an angle in a unit called Quips,
where any circle is 15 Quips. Create a protractor to measure any angle in Quips.
Have students discuss their methods of creating the protractor. Then have them look at
each other’s protractors of varying sizes and discuss whether their Gips protractors
represent the same measurement. Ask them to do the same with the Quips protractors.
Students should conclude that their Gips protractors are the same, it does not matter the
size of the protractor. This also holds true for their Quips protractors. In fact, this holds
true for any protractor measuring the same angles. Thus, the same amount of Quips and
Gips are within all sized circles. Relate this back to degrees.
Now have students create their own angle. Each person within a group should have a
different length Wikki Stix. Use the string or Wikki Stix and compass to create a circle
with a radius the length of your Stix.
How Wikki Stix will fit on the circumference of your circle?
Create an angle that:
a. subtends (or cuts off) one Wikki Stix.
b. subtends 2.5 Wikki Stix.
c. subtends 7 Wikki Stix.
Compare your results with your group members.

Geometry Unit 4: Circles and Volume

How many will it take to cover the whole circle?
Have students explore, on their own, how many radii are in a circle’s circumference.
Guide students in discussing the meaning of radians and where the name comes from
(that it relates to circle’s radius being used as a measurement). Use the diagram below to
help illustrate the meaning of radians. Discuss the relationship of a circle’s radius the
circumference formula (there are always 2π radii in a circle’s circumference).