Perpendicular and Parallel Lines

Contributor: Rachel Lewis. Lesson ID: 12774

What would happen if railroad tracks got closer and closer together? What if your chair had legs at all crazy angles? Learn what parallel and perpendicular lines are and draw a new map of your town!



learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Look at the lines in the pictures below.

railroad sign and tracks

  • How are the lines in the railroad crossing sign different from the lines of the railroad tracks?

There are lines in railroad signs and railroad tracks.

There are lines painted on the road. Lines make up the blinds that cover your windows. There are lines in fences, in the middle of your tennis racket, and on a basketball court.

Lines are everywhere!

  • Did you know there are different types of lines?

There are two main types of lines: perpendicular and parallel.

Intersecting lines are two lines that cross each other at a point. Lines that intersect at 90-degree angles, or right angles, are called perpendicular.

Look at the picture of the weather vane below.

  • Do you see how the lines intersect?

The lines have an L shape, which means they are at a right angle. The lines in the weather vane are perpendicular to each other.

  • Can you think of other examples of perpendicular lines?


Parallel lines are lines that will never meet or intersect. They are always the same distance apart, and going in the same direction.

Look at the picture of the football field. The yard lines are an example of parallel lines. They are the same distance apart and they never meet. They are always side-by-side in the same direction.

  • Can you think of other examples of parallel lines?

football field

Review the types of lines with this fun Parallel and Perpendicular song from Becky Barton:

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After you listen to the song, answer the questions below:

  1. What are some examples of perpendicular lines?
  2. What are some examples of intersecting lines?
  3. What are some examples of parallel lines?

Now you know that intersecting and perpendicular lines are lines that meet, like in rectangles, railroad crossing signs, and weather vanes.

You also learned that parallel lines will never meet, like railroad tracks, yard lines on a football field, lines on a road, and telephone wires.

  • Can you think of your own real-world examples?
  • Where could you find perpendicular or parallel lines in real life?

Now, go to the Got It? section to try a real-world activity!

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