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Published by aastewart
Teacher notes for learning about congruent triangles using The Geometer's Sketchpad
Teacher notes for learning about congruent triangles using The Geometer's Sketchpad

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Published by: aastewart on Aug 30, 2008
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How much information of what kind do you need in order to draw exactly the same triangleas I have already drawn ? A lesson on communicating information.
Students will need a sheet of paper, pencil/pen, and a Laptop (or access to a computer) foreach PAIR
TWO ALTERNATIVES FOR STUDENT WORKSHEETALTERNATIVE ONEStudents to access a Sketchpad worksheet from either a school server or Teacher Flash Drive.It contains six triangles (each labelled ABC) which will be used in this activity. This will needto be constructed in advance. (Construction notes given on p.4.)ALTERNATIVE TWOAt the start of the lesson students construct their own set of six triangles, each labelled ABC.Personally I prefer Alternative One as it enable more time to be spent on the real activityrather than preparing for it.Wave the answer sheet (p. 3 of these notes) around, showing that you have a number of triangles drawn on it, and that you want them to be able to draw exact copies. Clearlyproviding all angles and all sides (6 pieces of information) would enable them to draw anexact copy, but could we draw exact copies when provided with less than 6 pieces of information ?Ask students to guess what the smallest number of pieces of information that will be requiredwill be. Write the guesses on the board.The students must specify exactly which side or angle they require.Give the students the first measurement value they ask for. It is useful to direct request from aparticular student.For the students to start drawing their copy, they need to act as follows :SidesOn the TOOLBOX Palette, select POINTER.Click blank, then click on the selected side.On the MEASURE Menu, select LENGTHA statement will appear in the top left corner of the screen.(If side AC was selected, then mCA = 6.5 cm or mAC = 6.5 cm appears)Click and drag either end of line till required length is obtainedAnglesOn the TOOLBOX Palette, select POINTER. Click blank.Holding the SHIFT key, click on the vertices in order of angle designation.On the MEASURE Menu, select ANGLE.A statement will appear in the top left corner of the screen.(If angle BAC was selected, then m
BAC = 83˚ or similar appears)Click and drag either free end till required angle is obtained
Is that item sufficient to "fix" the triangle ?What is the next piece of information required ?Give them the requested data, and let them enter it onto their figure. Directing a responsefrom one student will cut down the noise.Is that item sufficient to "fix" the triangle ?What is the next piece of information required ?Give them the data, and let them enter it onto their figure.NOTE that the discussion may need a little leading or hinting at – which angle/side and why?How will this new data help/link with previous data ?With three (3) items, the triangle ought to be "fixed" – look at the requested set of data ingeneral terms (SSS, SAS, ASA).Once triangle is set, get students to measure another side or angle, and compare their valueto your figure (Should be ± 0.1 cm length, ± 1˚ angle)Once triangle is confirmed, note the information used to "fix" it (SSS, SAS, ASA) on the board.Students can label their triangle with the same letters by selecting the text tool (Immediatelyunder the line tool on the Toolbox Palette), drawing a box INSIDE their triangle and typing inthe same capital lettersFor the next and subsequent triangles, they CANNOT ask for the same set(s) as have beenpreviously used. They use another of the triangles initially created, and notice that each of the triangles will carry the same letter labels (A, B and C)Should be able to get the main three – SAS, ASA, SSS (probably in that order) with the threetriangles.Would three angles fix a triangle ? Give the students the three angles of a triangle, and whenthey have completed that, get them to measure a particular side – say AB. Then compare allthe values of AB around the class with your own and discuss the implications – we need aside in there somewhere ! However, if you look at the shapes of these triangles, you will findthem to be the same, but of a different size. This introduces the concept of similarity to befollowed up in subsequent lessons.If time permits, pursue RHS situation with the fifth triangle.The program can be shut down WITHOUT saving anythingTO CONCLUDEThree (3) items of information – specific information – were sufficient to "fix" a triangle, toenable an exact copy to be drawn of it. The three major ways were SSS, SAS, ASA.
BAC = 79°m
BCA = 56°
ABC = 45°m BC = 7.5 cmm CA = 5.5 cmm AB = 6.4 cm
BAC = 33°m
BCA = 107°m
ABC = 40°m CA = 7.0 cmm AB = 10.5 cmm BC = 6.0 cm
BAC = 48°m
BCA = 66°
ABC = 66°m CA = 7.4 cmAB = 7.4 cmm BC = 6.0 cm
ABC = 90°m
ACB = 50°m
BAC = 40°m CA = 9.1 cmm AB = 7.0 cmm BC = 5.9 cm
BAC = 79°m
ACB = 44°
ABC = 57°m CA = 6.0 cmm BC = 7.0 cmm AB = 5.0 cm
BAC = 43°m
ACB = 61°m
ABC = 76°m CA = 10.0 cmAB = 9.0 cmm BC = 7.0 cm
Save for RHS exposition

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