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  17 May 10  at  05:19 PM #
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  08:00 AM #
Nice idea Joe. Could also get them to determine how straight our school is, are the walls perpendicular to the ground?

Post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

New  Subscribe to the …

email newsletter

Get updates…

Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest


Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
MathsClass is about teaching and learning in a maths classroom. more→


by date

by category


updates via @mathslinks

Recently read/found.

View All | RSS