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Sloping Squares- Pythagorean theorem task

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6 MB|5 pages
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I love to use this task to introduce the Pythagorean Theorem to students. For less confident students, it has a good starting point, which builds on their prior knowledge of areas of squares and the structure leads them through it. For more confident students, it deepens their understanding to ensure they have more than just a recall of the formula. The approach used provides an excellent way of then proving the theorem algebraically in an accessible way.

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SLOPING SQUARES TASK SHEET: a structured investigation for students to explore patterns with the area of sloping squares. Students use sloping lines to draw a square and then work out the area, without measuring the length of the sloping line. By relating this to the triangles below the sloping line, students can discover the Pythagorean theorem.
PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM PROOF: by using the method above, and generalizing their observations, students can work through an algebraic proof for the Pythagorean Theorem.
TEACHER NOTES AND ANSWER KEYS: Completed worksheet with solutions and notes on the task for teachers

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Adele Levin




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