Lesson plan

Lesson 14: Alternate Interior Angles

teaches Alabama State Standards 8-25.a.
teaches Alabama State Standards 8-25.
teaches Arizona State Standards 8.G.A.5
teaches Common Core State Standards MP8 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP8
teaches Common Core State Standards MP5 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP5
teaches Common Core State Standards 8.G.A.1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/8/G/A/1
teaches Common Core State Standards 8.G.A.5 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/8/G/A/5
teaches Colorado State Standards 8.G.A.5.
teaches Georgia State Standards MGSE8.G.5.
teaches Kansas State Standards 8.G.5.
teaches New York State Standards NY-8.G.5.
teaches New York State Standards NY-8.G.1.
teaches Ohio State Standards 8.G.5.
teaches Ohio State Standards 8.G.1.
teaches Pennsylvania State Standards CC.2.3.8.A.2.

Lesson 14: Alternate Interior Angles

In this lesson, students justify that alternate interior angles are congruent, and use this and the vertical angle theorem, previously justified, to solve problems.

Thus far in this unit, students have studied different types of rigid motions, using them to examine and build different figures. This work continues here, with an emphasis on examining angles. In a previous lesson, 180 degree rotations were employed to show that vertical angles, made by intersecting lines, are congruent. The warm-up recalls previous facts about angles made by intersecting lines, including both vertical and adjacent angles. Next a third line is added, parallel to one of the two intersecting lines. There are now 8 angles, 4 each at the two intersection points of the lines. At each vertex, vertical and adjacent angles can be used to calculate all angle measures once one angle is known. But how do the angle measures compare at the two vertices? It turns out that each angle at one vertex is congruent to the corresponding angle (via translation) at the other vertex and this can be seen using rigid motions: translations and 180 degree rotations are particularly effective at revealing the relationships between the angle measures.

One mathematical practice that is particularly relevant for this lesson is MP8. Students will notice as they calculate angles that they are repeatedly using vertical and adjacent angles and that often they have a choice which method to apply. They will also notice that the angles made by parallel lines cut by a transversal are the same and this observation is the key structure in this lesson.

Lesson overview

  • 14.1 Warm-up: Angle Pairs (5 minutes)
  • 14.2 Activity: Cutting Parallel Lines with a Transversal (15 minutes)
    • Includes "Are you Ready for More?" extension problem
  • 14.3 Activity: Alternate Interior Angles Are Congruent (15 minutes)
  • Lesson Synthesis
  • 14.4 Cool-down: All The Rest (5 minutes)

Learning goals:

  • Calculate angle measures using alternate interior, adjacent, vertical, and supplementary angles to solve problems.
  • Justify (orally and in writing) that “alternate interior angles” made by a “transversal” connecting two parallel lines are congruent using properties of rigid motions.

Learning goals (student facing):

  • Let’s explore why some angles are always equal.

Learning targets (student facing):

  • If I have two parallel lines cut by a transversal, I can identify alternate interior angles and use that to find missing angle measurements.

Required materials:

  • geometry toolkits

Required preparation:

  • Students need rulers and tracing paper from the geometry toolkits.


  • alternate interior angles - Alternate interior angles are created when two parallel lines are crossed by another line called a transversal. Alternate interior angles are inside the parallel lines and on opposite sides of the transversal. This diagram shows two pairs of alternate interior angles. Angles \(a\) and \(d\) are one pair and angles \(b\) and \(c\) are another pair.

  • transversal - A transversal is a line that crosses parallel lines. This diagram shows a transversal line \(k\) intersecting parallel lines \(m\) and \(\ell\).

  • Access the complete Grade 8 glossary.


  • This lesson builds on the standard: CCSS.7.G.B.5MS.7.G.5






IM 6–8 Math was originally developed by Open Up Resources and authored by Illustrative Mathematics, and is copyright 2017-2019 by Open Up Resources. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). OUR's 6–8 Math Curriculum is available at https://openupresources.org/math-curriculum/.

Adaptations and updates to IM 6–8 Math are copyright 2019 by Illustrative Mathematics, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

Adaptations to add additional English language learner supports are copyright 2019 by Open Up Resources, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

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