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This is a group "lab" experience for students. The teacher works as a facilitator during the lesson. The questions on the page guide students to derive the Pythagorean Theorem... or at least connect the concepts behind the areas of the two smaller squares adding up to the area of the larger square.
I have used this in my 8th grade classroom as an "explore" activity during a 5E model lesson. It usually serves as the introduction to the unit and we refer back to the experience throughout the lessons that follow. Many students begin by counting the square units and creating estimations of the areas of the larger squares. The average group of students will take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete the activity.
Be prepared to ask probing questions and watch the ideas be constructed!
How do you find the area of a square?
What is a different way of saying length times width when we are talking about squares?
How are the areas related?
How could you explain what you just said with letters and math symbols in an equation?