Prove the Pythagorean Theorem Using Similarity

Amaze your classes with the ability to find side lengths of triangles immediately — they'll all want to know your trick! Learners use the Pythagorean Theorem and special right triangle relationships to find missing side lengths.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Begin with several right triangles with known side lengths; have pupils find the relationship between the three sides of the right triangle and verify it is true for all triangles given
  • Instruct individuals to record the relationships discussed in a table for quick reference
Classroom Considerations

  • Allow time for practice with the Pythagorean Theorem and special right triangles
  • A continuation of the previous lesson in a 36-part series
Pros

  • Emphasizes similarity when exploring special right triangle relationships
  • Discusses the proof of the Pythagorean Theorem and develops it directly from content in a previous lesson
Cons

  • There is a shortage of practice within the lesson for the new concepts
Common Core