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Lesson 2: Discovering the Pythagorean Theoerem



Subject(s) Mathematics

Topic/Unit of Study & Time Geometry


Grade/Level Grade 8

Objective Students will be able to:

Discover the Pythagorean Theorem.

Understand the Pythagorean Theorem applies only to right triangles.
Identify how the area of a square relates to the Pythagorean Theorem.
Recall the Pythagorean Theorem and its converse.
Explain a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Summary This lesson is designed to have students examine and discover the Pythagorean Theorem. They will be given opportunities to
make conncections between squares and the side lengths of right triangles. Student prior knowledge will be activated by the
use of a graphic organizer to compile the information they already knwo about right triangles and their properties. They will
be engaged by a set of questions and cues tha will lead them to wonder about how they could relate a square to a triangle to
find the missing length in a right triangle. Yesterday they learned information about the life and discoveries of Pythagoras
and today they will have an opportunity to become Pythagoras and discover the information about the Theorem on their

To further cement their newly formed knowledge students will have exposure to the book, Pythagoras what's your angle?
which will be another interesting way to encourage learning other than explicit teaching.

Students will have an opportunity to practice vocabulary terms from the past that relate to this lesson and learn new
vocabulary and their definitions. After entering the vocabulary information into their math notebooks, they will refer to
them throughout the lesson and use it as a reference guide for their upcoming quiz and test for the unit. In the closure
activity, they will have an opportunity to put their newly gained knowledge into practice by labeling the parts of a triangle
with the appropriate parts from the Pythagorean Theorem and ultimately finding the length of the hypotenuse of the given
right triangle in the figure. Diffferentiation is evident in this lesson for the English language Learner (ELL) by providing a
graphic organizer to frontload academic vocabulary needed to thrive in this unit.

W (Where, Why & What) The student is expected to:

Identify the relationship between the area of a square and its side length.
Discover the Pythagorean Theorem using squares attached to the side of each side of the right triangle.

H (Hooked & Hold) Anticipatory Set:

Working within their groups, students will create a star web to access prior knowledge about right triangles and their
properties. Information on this chart can include the definition, examples, and area as well as perimeter of a right triangle.


Looking at your star charts, let's talk about the what we already know about the properties of a right triangle. Students
volunteer information to the class discussion by offering information obtained within their small groups.

Throughout this unit, students will be seated in quads (groups of four) where they will work in groups. Quads are designed in
such a way where two desks are placed next to eachother and facing the front of the classroom. The other two seats are
facing eachother sitting at a 90 degree angle to the previously mentioned seats. This seating arrangement allows students to
work cooperatively throughout this unit without having to move and shift around to get into their designated groups. It also
allows me to focus their attention on me and the Smartbaoard during explicit teaching. Group selection is based on the
student's performance on the previous test. Students are grouped according to similar performance levels. The lower
performing student's are placed in groups of three so that I may sit at one of the desks to offer guidance when necessary.

Essential Question:

Without the use of rulers and protractors, how do you think the ancient Egyptians and Greek built architecture with perfect

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90 degrees buildings? Evidence shows that they had knowledge of the rules of right triangles and what we refer to as the
Pythagorean Theorem. Do you think you can discover the rule that applies to finding the lengths of the sides of a right
triangle just as Pythagoras did? Let's explore to find out.

E (Explore & Experience) Model:

Discuss with students that over the next week they will be learning the Pythagorean Theorems and it's applications in real-
world problems. Demonstrate that the theorem is for one special type of triangle which is the right triangle.

Demonstrate by drawing three right triangles with a variety of side lengths such as 3,4,5. Ask students to recall properties of
a right triangle. Ask: What makes these triangles a right triangle?

Next discuss that drawing squares along each edge of the triangle can be used to discover the Pythagorean Theorem.
Demonstrate by drawing squares along each edge of the triangle. Ask questions about the area of the newly formed squares

Information on Pythagoras includes:

Pythagoras and his followers found that the sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to 180 degrees.
Founded the school of the Brotherhood of Pythagoreans.
He discovered and formulated the theorem that we refer to as the Pythagorean Theorem which states the sum of the
square of the legs of a right triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse.

Review and explain how we can find the length of a side of a square given it's area. Cue questions to arrive at the privously
learned relationship between the area of a square and it's side length. Ask students to share their thoughts with other
members of their group. As a group, review and explain that the side length of a square can be squared (or multiplied by
itself) to find the are of that shape. Discuss what it means to take the square root of a number. Students discuss in groups
and share ideas with the class.

Demonstrate the use of squares attached to the legs of a triangle as mentioned in the Pythagoras book to find the
relationship between squares and right triangle. Finish modeling by writing the following formula on the Smartboard:

Pythagorean Theorem: a+b=c

Where a= length of one leg of the right triangle

b= length of another leg of the right triangle

c= length of the hypotenuse of the right triangle

Guided Practice:

As a class, students will participate in practicing their newly learned knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem on a series of
problems as shown below:

Each problems will be tackled as a group and students will be called upon by their group and seat numbers to offer answers
such as: Which angle is the right angle in this triangle? Where are the side lengths that are considered the legs of the
triangle? What pattern is starting to emerge between the relationship of the legs and the right angle? Which side length is
considered the hypotenuse and by what letter is is represented within the Pythagorean Theorem? and finally, we will
practice figuring out the length of the missing hypotenuse and draw a conclusion about the length of the hypotenuse in
relation to the size of the lengths of the other two legs. (the hypotenuse is always to longest side of the right triangle)

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Students will work individually to create the given triangle lengths on a Geoboard with rubberbands. This activity will give
them the hands-on experience to manipulate the triangle in order to create a right triangle. Activities such as this will
further cement the newly acquired information for better comprehension.

Independent Practice:

Students will read the book about Pythagoras and make logical sense and come up with the explanation of why the
Pythagorean Theorem makes sense. How does the side length of the square relate to the edges of each given side of the right

Students are give the vocabulary terms and asked enter them into their math notebooks using the definitions from the back
of their texbook. They will keep the terms in their notes for future reference and use as a study guide for their upcoming quiz
and test. The teacher will ask

R (Rethink, Revise & Refine) Closure:

The teacher will now read the book, What's Your Angle Pythagoras?, by Julie Ellis, to the students aloud and as a class.
Afterwards, discuss the information offered by the book in conjunction with what they already know about right triangles.

Exit Ticket:

Students are expected to complete the small worksheet below and hand it in to the teacher at the conclusion of the class as
their "Ticket out the door".

Each student will get a half-page worksheet with the following dimensions. They will need to answer two questions. 1. Label
the angle that is 90 degrees. 2. Label the legs and the hypotenuse on the figure below. 3. Explaine how you'd find the length
of the hypotenuse of the right triangle.

E (Evaluate) The formative assessment, namely the closure activity, will give the teacher a good understanding of the students'
comprehension level of materials discussed and presented in class today. This will allow the teacher to guage understanding
and an opportunity to review any important information that may have been misunderstood or that require reteaching
before going further into this unit.

T (Tailored) To help English Language Learners (ELL) with the essential vocabulary related to this unit, the teacher will have students
complete a 4-square-vocabulary worksheet for each term and have students practice the terms ahead of the lesson as
homework. This worksheet allows for students to look up the definition of the word and then add their definition in their
own words. It will also give the students an opportunity to illustrate or draw their idea of the term in order for students of
differening language acquisition abilities to have the added visual representation of the term. Knowing these terms ahead of
time will give students sufficient academic vocabulary to ensure success in comprehension during the lesson. The
vocabulary worksheet is attached in the Instructional materials and handout section of this lesson plan.

O (Organized)

Instructional Resources Attachments:

1. Four Square Vocabulary template.docx

Materials and resources:

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What's your angle Pythagoras? by Julie Ellis

Vocabulary Words:
-Right triangle
-Pythagorean Theorem
- Unknown side
-Missing side

Geoboard and rubberbands

Standards CA- California Common Core State Standards (2012)
Subject: Mathematics
Grade: Grade 8
Domain: Geometry 8.G
Area: Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.
6. Explain a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem and its converse.

7. Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths in right triangles in real-world and mathematical problems in two
and three dimensions

8. Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two points in a coordinate system.

Assessment/Rubrics SMP's

This is the 4th lesson in the unit and assessements will be formative in nature and described in body the guided and
independant practice, as well is the closure activity designed to gauge understanding.

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