Are They Similar?

This Are They Similar? activity & project also includes:

Learners separate things that just appear similar from those that are actually similar. A diagram of triangles is given, and then a variety of geometric characteristics changed and the similarity of the triangles analyzed. Because the drawn diagram does not change, only the labeled properties change, this activity makes for excellent stretching of those theoretical math muscles in paragraph proofs. Great for a capstone exercise on similar triangles, or end-of-course open-response practice.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Have the class develop their own criteria that may or may not result in similarity, then justify the result
  • Link with a unit on constructions and replicating distances or angles, and add a construction portion to each similarity transformation
Classroom Considerations

  • Similarity transformations not on a coordinate plane offer a particular challenge to some learners. Allowing for drawing examples on grid paper might help those difficulties
  • Providing multiple copies of the diagram included would satisfy many needs for additional supports
Pros

  • Multiple parts force learners to evaluate each situation on its properties and not appearance
  • Careful treatment of similarity statements emphasizes the importance of vertex and side correspondence
Cons

  • Student activity not separated from teaching notes and answer key
Common Core