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Topic: activitiy ideas for the Pythagorean Theorem

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Subject:   RE: activitiy ideas for the Pythagorean Theorem
Author: Davem
Date: Apr 23 2008
Do you mean to teach it, discover it, or practice working with it?

(a)  Draw right angled triangles and squares on their sides, measure lengths,
calculate areas, have students work out what's going on.

(b)  Draw polygons on square dot paper (vertices always on dots).  Investigate
the relationship between their area, the dots inside the polygon and the dots on
the perimeter (Pick's Theorem)  Then, having done this, have them draw right
angled triangles on the grids, & use Pick's theorem to find the areas of the
squares drawn on the sides.  Voila - they can work out Pythagoras again.

(c)  Draw a large square.  Divide each side into lengths a & b, draw triangles
in each corner with sides a, b, and diagonal c creating a square in the centre
with area c^2.  Do the necessary algebra to work out Pythagoras' Theorem.

(d)  Show the video 'The Story of One' - some good discussion of mathematical
history there with a great bit about Pythagoras (my grade 7 students, and I,
loved it and it comes back into class all the time)

(e)  Pythagorean triples - they're great.

(f)  Research the Egyptian rope-stretchers  (I've no
idea how good the book is but that's the page I got from a quick Google

That should get you started


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