Sketching the Pythagorean Theorem
How it works:
This is an introductory lesson on how to use Geometer's Sketchpad
for both teacher and student. There are plenty of screenshots and
step-by-step instructions. First a square is created, then a script
is made to remember the steps to create a square. Next a right triangle
is drawn. Finally, the square script is used to attach a square to
the sides of the right triangle. An investigation follows revealing
how the area of sum of the square of the legs equals the area of the
square of the hypotenuse. This project provides links to additional
introductory lessons using Sketchpad, as well as an animated clip
demonstrating the Pythagorean Theorem.
Students will understand the basic properties of a square, a right
triangle, and the principal of the Pythagorean theorem. Students will
use geometry to complete basic geometric constructions.
Access to the Internet and Geometer's Sketchpad software. A free
trial version may be downloaded from this site: http://keypress.com/sketchpad/.
Students of many levels will find this lesson beneficial. A student
who does not understand basic geometric concepts will benefit. A strong
math student who is not familiar with the application Geometer's Sketchpad
will also learn.
This a great program for both teachers and students to learn Sketchpad.
It has very clear instructions accompanied by screenshots. It develops
the Pythagorean Theorem for students to enhance their understanding
of this basic concept.
Try the lessons before presenting them to the class. Make sure the
computers are student-ready with working Internet connection and applications
before engaging students.
About the teacher:
Laura Anderson has been teaching for 20 years. She currently teaches
Web Design, Mathematics, and Computer Programming at Edward A. Reynolds
West Side High School in New York City.
Grade Levels: 4-12
Time: 2-3 class periods