Special Triangles and the Unit Circle

Calculate exact trigonometric values using the angles of special right triangles. Beginning with a review of the unit circle and trigonometric functions, class members use their knowledge of special right triangles to find the value of trigonometric functions in the first quadrant. They extend that knowledge to determine other values in the other three quadrants on the unit circle. The lesson is the first in a series of 16.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Have the class construct a unit circle and label the special angles and the trigonometric values
  • Review what happens to the signs of points as they are reflected over the axis
Classroom Considerations

  • The class should be familiar with the unit circle and trigonometric functions

  • The resource includes scaffolding suggestions for those that are struggling
  • Contains a segment that explains the origination of the term sine

  • None
Common Core