Trigonometry and the Pythagorean Theorem

Ancient Egyptians sure knew their trigonometry! Pupils learn how the pyramid architects applied right triangle trigonometry. When comparing the Pythagorean theorem to the trigonometric ratios, they learn an important connection that leads to the introduction of the Pythagorean identity. Using the newly learned identity, learners find a trigonometric ratio given another ratio.

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CCSS: Designed
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Instructional Ideas
  • Have classmates work in pairs to complete the first exercises; add some triangles that are similar to the ones given to remind learners of the equivalent ratios
  • Challenge pupils to find other Pythagorean triples than the one used in the lesson
Classroom Considerations
  • Take time to define an identity and give multiple examples
  • Builds on previous lessons in this 36-part series
  • Develops concepts in a way that will be beneficial in future courses
  • The provided teacher guide is thorough and gives excellent explanations and questioning suggestions
  • None