Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

Horizontal, Vertical, Diagonal

Children will identify and sort pictures of objects with a diagonal, horizontal, and vertical orientation.

Content Area Standard Target
• Measurement
• Geometry
• Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, stsyems, and processes of measurement
• Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements
• Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems
• Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems
• Compare and order objects according to attributes
• Describe and name relative positioning in space – above, below, in front of, behind, next to,
before – and distance – near to, far, close
• Describe, name, and interpret relative positions in space and apply ideas about relative position
• Find and name locations with simple relationships such as “near to” and in coordinate systems such as maps
• Develop common referents for measures to make comparisons and estimates
• Describe an object by its shape and location
Obtain the Materials

• Realistic pictures of diagonal, horizontal, and vertical objects

• Poster board

• Markers

• Tape

• Index cards (4 x 6)

• Glue stick

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the Activity

1. Before you begin the lesson, create the table below. Use markers to draw a chart and write the orientation terms on the poster board. Cut out the pictures of the arrows (e.g., diagonal, horizontal, and vertical) and glue each one onto an index card and place under the corresponding term.
 Horizontal Diagonal Vertical
1. Explain to the children that they are going to learn new words.  Point to the diagonal arrow and say, “Our first word is diagonal.”  Using your photo cards, explain, “Now I am going to show you some pictures of objects that are diagonal.”  Place one or two of the diagonal photos cards under the diagonal heading.
2. Show the horizontal arrow and say, “Our second word is horizontal.”  Using your photo cards, explain, “Now I am going to show you some pictures of objects that are horizontal.”  Place one or two of the horizontal photo cards under the horizontal heading.
3. Show the vertical arrow and say. “Our third word is vertical.”  Using your photo cards, explain, “Now I am going to show you some pictures of objects that are vertical.”  Place one or two of the vertical photo cards under the vertical heading.
4. Ask for volunteers to place the remaining cards in the proper categories.  Hold up one of the cards for all of the children to see and ask, “In which category do you think the picture should go?”  After the volunteer places the photo card into a category ask them why they placed the card in that category.  By having the children explain their reasoning, you should be able to come up with definitions of each of the words. For example, if a child explains that they placed a picture of a rocket ship blasting off into the vertical category because the rocket ship is going up, then you can start to formulate a definition of vertical using “up.”  Have the children place the remaining cards as you write down definitions for each of the 3 words.

Engage the Children

1. After the children have seen all of the photo cards, explain that they will now play a sorting game.
2. Take all of the cards down from the chart and pass out a card to each child.  Ask the children to look at their photo cards and decide if it shows an object that is diagonal, horizontal, or vertical
3. Have the children choose which category/arrow their photo card should go under.  Allow each child to put his or hercards onto the chart.
4. Repeat until all of the photo cards have been sorted.

• Use real objects instead of the photo cards.
• Use the new vocabulary during transition times:  Lining up, you can say, “It’s time to go outside.  I need everyone to stand up straight and vertical and then line up at the door.” For nap time, you could say, “It is time for everyone to lie down horizontally on their rest mats.”

Encourage Vocabulary

• Horizontal Going side-to-side, like the horizon
• Vertical – In an up-down position, upright
• Diagonal – In a slanted direction

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

• Have limited vocabulary and difficulty with word retrieval when looking at and sorting the cards.

Pre-K Children may:

• Be ready to apply their knowledge beyond the chosen cards.

Home child care providers may:

• Use just one  directional word at a time and build on.  Ask questions that include a directional word so the children can answer “yes” or “no” to the questions. “In which direction is the rocket heading?”

Home child care providers may:

• Use real objects instead of the photo cards. To show the meaning of vertical, horizontal, and vertical
• Use the new vocabulary during transition times:  Lining up, you can say, “It’s time to go outside.  I need everyone to stand up straight and vertical and then line up at the door.” For nap time, you could say, “It is time for everyone to lie down horizontally on their rest mats."

Books

• Pattern by Henry Arthur Pluckrose (Danbury, CT: Childrens Press, 1995)
• Ups and Downs: A Book of Positional Words by School Zone Publishing Company (Grand Haven, MI: School Zone Publishing Company, 2000)

Music and Movement

Outdoor Connections

• Play an adapted game of Mother May I? in a playground area.  Explain that the children can move vertically – forwards & backwards/up & down and that they can move horizontally – side to side or diagonally – on the slant.  The children need to ask in which position they can move towards the finish line.

Web Resources

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