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This classroom-tested exploration was designed to address new Common Core standards connecting similarity of triangles and trigonometric ratios. Students must have prerequisite knowledge of similarity theorems and the definitions of sine, cosine, and tangent ratios. The task requires each student to create a unique triangle using given angle measures. Those triangles are used to draw connections between trigonometric ratios of similar triangles, the sine and cosine ratios of complementary angles, and the tangent ratios of complementary angles.
This is a fabulous experiential learning activity that provides explanation and understanding as to how trigonometric ratios work and the connection to previous concepts relating to similarity of triangles.
This exploration was designed as a part of a presentation given to my district's math teachers and was well received by my colleagues. The package includes a student handout and guided discussion sheet, teacher sample and answer key, and a PowerPoint presentation to facilitate the classroom discussion and exploration.
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