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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

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.

Standards addressed:  
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.

Materials used: 
Access to the Internet and Geometer's Sketchpad software. A free trial version may be downloaded from this site: http://keypress.com/sketchpad/.

The students:
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.

Overall value:
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.

Tips: 
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.

E-mail:
LauraJaneAnders@aol.com

Subject Areas: 
Mathematics
Technology

Grade Levels: 4-12

Time: 2-3 class periods

 

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