Pocket Protractor

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In this activity, learners create angle-measuring devices--protractors--out of paper. Learners follow a series of steps to fold a square sheet of paper into a triangular Pocket Protractor. Learners will practice measuring and identifying the angles of a triangle.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:

English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • square sheet of paper (you can trim a sheet of 8.5˝ × 11˝ paper into a square; 8.5˝ × 8.5˝ would be fine OR square origami paper, perhaps 6" x 6")
  • pencil
  • ruler (optional)
  • scissors (optional)


  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
    • Measurement
      • Polygons

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Exploratorium, 2010

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation