Math in Our World: Making Kites

Riva made three kites with wooden rods and fabric that she has at home.
Each of the kites she made uses a 20-inch rod cut into 2 pieces as the support bars.

The first kite is blue and is tall and thin. The support bars intersect in the middle. The second kite is red and is equal in height and width. The support bars intersect in the middle. The third kite is green and is wider at its top than it is at its bottom. The support bars intersect near the top.

The longer support bar on the blue kite is 15½ inches.
The lengths of the support bars on the red kite are equal.
The longer support bar on the green kite is 12½ inches.

Riva wants to make two more kites that are different from the ones she’s already made. She has one long wooden rod that is 48¾ inches.

She has a total of 252 feet of string to tie to the kites.

  1. Use pictures, models, or numbers to show what you know about the kites.
  2. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  3. What mathematical questions can you ask about this situation? Answer all the questions you can!
  • What do you notice about the angles and the lines of the kites?
  • How are the kites the same? How are they different?
  • What options does Riva have with the string?
  • Show your work to someone else, and explain your thinking. Did they understand?
  • Ask whether they have any other questions you can answer!

Design a kite of your own. How long would you make it? How wide would it be? What kinds of angles would you want your kite to have? How long would you make the string?