Math in Our World: Kite Design

The black shape has 3 main parts. The top part is the biggest and it looks like a trapezoid. You might make it from 2 rows of triangles, 3 on top and 5 on bottom. The middle part looks like a trapezoid, too. You might make it from 1 row of 3 triangles. The bottom part is the smallest and it's 1 triangle. You could use other shapes besides triangles, like rhombuses, hexagons, and trapezoids.

Treena is designing a kite. She will cut shapes from different colored fabrics. Then she will sew them together to make the black shape.

Treena has to decide how much fabric of each color she needs. She’d like to use 3 different colors. She wants at least ³⁄₆ of the kite to be red.

  1. Use pictures, models, or numbers to show what is happening. You might want to use the MLC Pattern Shapes app.
  2. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  3. What math questions can you ask about this situation? Answer all the questions you can!
  • What if Treena makes the entire kite out of small triangles like the one at the bottom of the design? How many of those triangles would she need to make the entire kite? How many would have to be red?
  • Use the MLC Pattern Shapes app to try out your ideas. What colors would you use? What fraction of the kite would you make each color? Hint: Use the Color Fill tool to change the pattern shape colors.
  • Show your work to someone else, and explain your thinking. Did they understand?
  • Ask whether they have any other questions you can answer!

Design your own kite. Would you make it the same shape as Treena’s? Or, would you change the shape? What colors would you use? Describe your kite using fractions. Draw your design on paper or use the MLC Pattern Shapes app.