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Annie's Sketchpad Activities

These are handouts and activities that I have written. Feel free to use them in your classroom, giving credit where credit is due. Also feel free to modify them so that they work better in your classroom or situation. If you do this, I'd love to see your version, and perhaps even share it from here with others!

Handouts that incorporate Java Sketchpad are indicated with a . Why should you care about Java GSP? Two main reasons, as I see it. One, you can prepare sketches for your students to explore where all they can see is what you want them to see. They can't "show all hidden" to find the answers to anything, and they can't construct anything new. Two, a handout on paper is static. The student can see if their picture looks right, but they can't tell if it acts right. By using a web page that incorporates java versions of the sketches, they can drag the sketch on the page as well as their sketch to see if they act the same. There are some examples available at the bottom of the page.

Note: These activities have not been updated for version 4 of Sketchpad. (Most are still relevant and possibly even useful.) Hopefully I can find time to do that this summer. Feb 2003.

Learning More About Sketchpad
Making a Presentation Sketch

Learn how to reproduce a presentation sketch that uses a lot of action buttons.

Investigating the Properties of Quadrilaterals

Learn how to construct a sketch with which students can investigate the properties of different quadrilaterals.

The Euler Segment (Using Script Tools)

Learn to construct script tools to investigate the Euler segment.

Putting Sketches on a Web Page (Using JavaGSP)

Learn how to incorporate sketches into your web pages. You can look at some examples to get some ideas, too.

Doing Math With Sketchpad
Morphing a Simple Figure to a Circle

Take a polygon and "morph" it into a circle.

Napoleon's Theorem

Explore the centers of the equilateral triangles constructed on the sides of any triangle and related lines and points.

Drawing a Box and Its Net

Construct the net of a box and its three-dimensional representation, both linked so that changing the side of the net changes the picture of the box.

Three Roads to a Parabola

Construct a parabola by paperfolding, modeling the paper folding in Sketchpad, and then analytically.

Java Sketchpad Examples
The following Geometry Problems of the Week from the Math Forum use sketches to illustrate ideas that the students often had problems with or that were just ultra-cool.

  • The Coordinated Triangle
    Find the third vertex of a triangle on the coordinate plane if two of the vertices are (6,0) and (10,0) and the area is 24 units2.
  • Overlapping Squares
    Two 10" squares overlap. The corner of one is anchored at the center of the other. What's the area of the region where they overlap?
  • Splitting up a Parallelogram
    Draw parallelogram ABCD with AB=10. Draw EF with E between A and B and F between C and D such that EF divides the area of ABCD in half. If EF=4, what is FD?
  • Congruent Chords and Circles
    Prove that two congruent chords in a circle are equal distances from the center of the circle.
  • Annie Fetter * 22 July 1999