A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Pythagoras Outside

Saturday, 15 May 2010 | 2 Comments

This is a fairly simple activity that allows for something different in the teaching of Pythagoras’ Theorem.

right-angled triangle

Take your class outside, find a nice flat area of concrete, and get them drawing some big triangles.  Students then check the length of the third side by measurement and calculation.

The very brief lesson plan:

  1. Take pen, book, calculator.  Find a partner to work with.
  2. Show the group what we’re going to do:
    • draw a triangle (30cm, 40cm)
    • measure the hypotenuse
    • do the calculation
    • Students do two triangles on their own (see worksheet):
    • draw
    • measure
  • calculate

Posted in • ActivityOutsideLesson IdeaPythagoras’ TheoremPrintableWorksheet | Short URL:


Joe Donahue on  18 May 10  at  03:19 AM #
Something you might want to add to this assignment: Contractors use the pythagorean theorem (usually a 3,4,5 right triangle) to get a perpendicular line from a building wall, say for a deck. Mark a point outside near a wall and ask students to figure out how to draw a line from the point to the wall that is exactly perpendicular.


Simon Job on  22 May 10  at  06:00 PM #
Nice idea Joe. Could also get them to determine how straight our school is, are the walls perpendicular to the ground?

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