Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran.

Topic/Title Grade level Materials

Constructing the nine point circle. Geometry 11-12 40-minute class period.

GSP5, Computer, 4-5 Student Rulers, Chalkboard, Overhead projector, Transparencies, Dry-erase Markers, and Handouts.


Content Standards

Mathematics – High School Geometry
Experiment with transformations in the plane G.CO.1. Know precise definitions of angle, circle, perpendicular line, parallel line, and line segment, based on the undefined notions of point, line, distance along a line, and distance around a circular arc. Understand congruence in terms of rigid motions G-CO.8. Explain how the criteria for triangle congruence (ASA, SAS, and SSS) follow from the definition of congruence in terms of rigid motions. Prove geometric theorems G-CO.9. Prove theorems about lines and angles. Theorems include: vertical angles are congruent; when a transversal crosses parallel lines, alternate interior angles are congruent and corresponding angles are congruent; points on a perpendicular bisector of a line segment are exactly those equidistant from the segment’s endpoints. G-CO.10. Prove theorems about triangles. Theorems include: measures of interior angles of a triangle sum to 180°; base angles of isosceles triangles are congruent; the segment joining midpoints of two sides of a triangle is parallel to the third side and half the length; the medians of a triangle meet at a point.



Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran.
G-CO.11. Prove theorems about parallelograms. Theorems include: opposite sides are congruent, opposite angles are congruent, the diagonals of a parallelogram bisect each other, and conversely, rectangles are parallelograms with congruent diagonals. Make geometric constructions G-CO.12. Make formal geometric constructions with a variety of tools and methods (compass and straightedge, string, reflective devices, paper folding, dynamic geometric software, etc.). Copying a segment; copying an angle; bisecting a segment; bisecting an angle; constructing perpendicular lines, including the perpendicular bisector of a line segment; and constructing a line parallel to a given line through a point not on the line. G-CO.13. Construct an equilateral triangle, a square, and a regular hexagon inscribed in a circle.

Similarity, Right Triangles & Trigonometry
Prove theorems involving similarity


G-SRT.5. Use congruence and similarity criteria for triangles to solve problems and to prove relationships in geometric figures.

Understand and apply theorems about circles


G-C.2. Identify and describe relationships among inscribed angles, radii, and chords. Include the relationship between central, inscribed, and circumscribed angles; inscribed angles on a diameter are right angles; the radius of a circle is perpendicular to the tangent where the radius intersects the circle. G-C.3. Construct the inscribed and circumscribed circles of a triangle, and prove properties of angles for a quadrilateral inscribed in a circle.

Standards (cont.)

Standards for Mathematical Practice

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.  Students will apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems.  Use a variety of problem solving strategies to understand new mathematical content.  Observe and explain patterns to formulate generalizations and conjectures.  Determine information required to solve a problem, choose methods for obtaining information and define parameters for acceptable solutions.  Students will make and investigate mathematical conjectures. 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.  Understand and make connections among multiple representations of the same mathematical idea.  Students will recognize and use connections among mathematical ideas.  Understand the corresponding procedures for similar problems or mathematical concepts.


Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran.
Understand how concepts, procedures, and mathematical results in one are of mathematics can be used to solve problems in other areas of mathematics.  Understand how quantitative models connect to various physical models and representations. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.  Students will recognize reasoning and proof as fundamental aspects of mathematics.  Recognize that mathematical ideas can be supported by a variety of strategies.  Use mathematics to show and understand social phenomena (e.g., determine if conclusions from another person’s argument have a logical foundation).  Use correct mathematical language in developing mathematical questions that elicit, extend, or challenge other students’ conjectures Model with mathematics.  Students will use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena.  Students will select, apply and translate among mathematical representations to solve problems.  Select appropriate representations to solve problem situations. Use appropriate tools strategically.  Use representation as a tool for exploring and understanding mathematical ideas.  Use physical objects, diagrams, charts, tables, graphs, symbols, equations, or objects created using technology as representations of mathematical concepts. Attend to precision.  Construct various types of reasoning, arguments, justifications and methods of 





 Apply inductive reasoning in making and supporting mathematical conjectures. 7. Look for and make use of structure.  Students will provide an argument for a mathematical conjecture. It may be an intuitive argument or a set of examples that support the conjecture. The argument may include, but is not limited to, a written paragraph, measurement using appropriate tools, the use of dynamic software, or a written proof.  Understand the corresponding procedures for similar problems or mathematical concepts 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.  Students will engage in a process that leads to knowing something to be true or false.  Determine information required to solve a problem, choose methods for obtaining the information, and define parameters for acceptable solutions.  Understand and use appropriate language, representations, and terminology when describing objects, relationships, mathematical solutions, and geometric diagrams.

proof for problems.


Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran.

Anticipatory Set

Prior to Class: The teacher will set up the classroom in circle in order to create an environment suited for the preliminary discussion. On the board the teacher will write the title of the lessons to allow student’s curiosities create preliminary motivation. “Constructing the nine-point circle”. Discussion We will begin the lesson with a conversation about our experiences with geometric proofs and constructions. The following questions will be used to guide the discussion:  What do you like about geometry proofs and constructions?  What do you find difficult when proving or creating geometric constructions?  Anyone have any suggestions as to what might help when creating and proving geometric constructions? The teacher will then discuss the lesson by explaining that we will dedicate the class to construct the nine-point circle, a marvel of geometric constructions. Before we get started on the proofs and constructions the teacher will review some theorems that we will be using to construct the nine-point circle. We will dedicate more time to these theorems as we carry on with the lesson.    Midpoint Theorem: The segment joining the midpoints of two sides of a triangle is parallel to the third side and half as long as the third side. Cyclic Quadrilateral Theorem: If a pair of opposite angles of a quadrilateral are supplementary, then the quadrilateral is cyclic. Characteristic of Right Triangles: the length of the hypotenuse median is half of the hypotenuse length.

After reviewing these theorems and properties the students will arrange themselves into groups of three and they will remain in these groups for the remainder of the class.
Learning Activity

After the anticipatory set the teacher will present triangle ABC with midpoints A’, B’, C’ and altitude CF where point F is the foot of the altitude and lies on line segment AB . Also given will be quadrilateral A’B’C’F. We will use the T-chart style of proofs to highlight the logical flow of the proof. The teacher will prove that quadrilateral A’B’C’F is an isosceles trapezoid, before we begin we will review that in order to show that a -4-

Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran. quadrilateral is an isosceles trapezoid we need to find two sides to be parallel to each other while the other two sides must be equal in length. We will discuss the given facts and continue to prove that B'A' || C'F using the midpoint theorem. After this is established we will proceed to show that B’C’ = ½ (BC) also using the midpoint theorem. Using the median hypotenuse property of right triangles we will show that A’F = ½ (BC). By the transitive property since B’C’ = ½ (BC) and A’F = ½ (BC), then A’F = B’C’. Using this fact we can conclude that since B'A' || C'F and A’F = B’C’, then quadrilateral A’B’C’F is an isosceles trapezoid by definition. We will refer back to the cyclic quadrilateral theorem that says that if a pair of opposite angles of a quadrilateral are supplementary, then the quadrilateral is cyclic. Since one property of isosceles trapezoids is that a pair of opposite sides are supplementary then, isosceles trapezoids are cyclic and thus points A’, B’, C’, and F are concyclic. At this point we need to show that the point D (the foot of the altitude AD ) also lies on the same circle. Each group will receive copies of blank triangles and a worksheet to prove point D to be in the same circle as A’, B’, C’ and F. This worksheet will have the proof but it will have some information missing. In a group the students will try to fill in the blanks with the ability to ask for help from the teacher and also they can refer to any notes they may have taken. When the assignment seems to be finished we will go over the answers. The teacher will then ask the students to make a conjecture about points B’, C’, A’, and E, for altitude BE . They should now realize that point E needs to be in the circle by a similar argument from the other two points, D and F. At this point we will summarize this portion and explain that we have constructed a six-point circle with points A’, B’, C’, D, E, and F. We will point out that the intersection of the altitudes of triangles is the orthocenter of the triangle and we will label it H. To create the other three points of the nine-point circle, the teacher will draw the midpoints of segments CH , BH , and AH labeled M, N, P respectively. The teacher will then begin to prove that point M lies on a quadrilateral whose pair of opposite sides are supplementary. This would prove the points to be concyclic. We will look at quadrilateral MB’C’F. We will show B'M || AD by


Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran. the midpoint theorem. Since we know that B'C' || BC also by the midpoint formula and AD ┴ BC because AD is an altitude, then B'C' ┴ B'M . This shows that angle MB’C’ is a right angle by the definition of perpendicularity. Since we already know that angle C’FM is a right angle, then quadrilateral MB’C’F is cyclic by the cyclic quadrilateral theorem. After this guided proof the students will get a chance to write out a proof that show that point N is on the same circle as the other 7 points. They will receive a worksheet that they will work on as a group. As a class we will review the proof. The students will then be asked to generate a conjecture about the last point P. They should now realize that point P needs to be on the same circle by a similar argument as the other two points, M and N. The last part of the lesson will be to create the nine-point circle using Geometer’s sketchpad. The teacher will quickly create the circle and show students that you can construct a nine point circle regardless of which triangle you use. The lesson will be comprised of visual and auditory learning activities. They will be given the opportunity to practice each new idea immediately following its presentation. The students will be working with midpoints, parallel lines, and perpendicular lines, and cyclic quadrilaterals, altitudes of triangles, the orthocenter, supplementary angles, proofs and geometric constructions. This lesson will be taught using instruction (the walkthrough of the first proof), exploration (by exploring the proof of the other points of the ninepoint circle, and investigation (by making conjectures using the prior discoveries. Throughout the lesson, the NCTM Standards for Teaching Mathematics will be paramount, i.e., The students will be engaging in worthwhile mathematical tasks both in class work and assigned work. All assigned work is relevant to the NYS standards and will involve realistic applications. The teacher’s role in discourse will be positive, engaging, challenging, and inspiring. The students’ role in discourse will be encouraged, -6-

Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran. important, and mathematical and will fully satisfy the communication process strand. Multiple tools and methods will be used for enhancing discourse including manipulatives, technology and hands-on activities. The learning environment will constantly be one that will foster each student’s mathematical power. Students will be encouraged and assisted in active problem solving, making connections, and in understanding and creating representations while employing strong reasoning and proof skills. The teacher will engage in a constant analysis of teaching and learning pre- and post-lessons to ensure that all objectives are met. Strengths of the lesson will be identified as well as areas which may need adjustment.
Provision for diversity

Gearing Down The teacher will provide a sheet with the theorems that will be used in the construction of the nine-point circle to allow students who may be struggling with the concepts to have the theorems right in front of them. Students who may be struggling considerably will be asked to come for additional help. Gearing Up Students who identify that they like geometry and may find it somewhat easier than others will be placed in groups. These students will be given the chance to help throughout the lesson. Although these students may have a better understanding of geometry they may have forgotten a lot of theorems and properties but their motivation and interest can help the lesson flow smoothly. Their enthusiasm will help motivate students who may be struggling. Knowledge What is the definition of: Parallel lines, Perpendicular lines, Isosceles Trapezoid, Quadrilateral, Cyclic, Concyclic? Identify different points on a triangle. (i.e., midpoints, vertices, orthocenter.) Construct the nine-point circle. Comprehension In your own words explain the Median Hypotenuse property of a right triangle, the Midpoint Theorem, and the Cyclic Quadrilateral Theorem.

Questions for Understanding


Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran. What can you say about the center of the nine-point circle? Application Use the theorems and properties to prove distinct point in a triangle to be concyclic. Predict which other points will also be in the nine-point circle. How will you show that a quadrilateral is an isosceles trapezoid? How will you show that a quadrilateral is cyclic? Analysis Why do you think that the all the feet of the altitude are on the nine-point circle? What is the relationship between the nine-point circle and cyclic quadrilaterals? The student will distinguish between theorems and use them appropriately. Synthesis Can you elaborate on how you arrived to the conjecture of the points D and P? Can you predict what other points will be on the nine-point circle? What pattern do you notice among the different points on the nine-point circle? Evaluation Based on what you have learned, how would you explain the construction of the nine-point circle? How would you prove that a set of points of a triangle are concyclic?


Guided Students will work on creating the nine-point circle as a class guided by the teacher. Students will brainstorm together to try and come with conjectures about similar points on the geometric constructions. Small Group Students will work together in small groups to determine the different steps to create the nine-point circle. Each group will receive a triangle template as well as a worksheet that will be collected at the end of the exercise.


During this lesson technology will be used to construct the nine-point


Learning Experience: “Constructing the Nine-Point Circle” by Eric Bran.



circle. We will use the overhead projector to walk students through the construction of the nine-point circle and to reinforce theorems and properties. At the end of the lesson we will use Geometer’s Sketchpad to show that the nine-point circle can be constructed regardless of which triangle you are using. Additionally, the students will use the internet to search for the construction of the center of the nine-point circle on their own. In summary, the construction of the nine-point circle involves the use of tools such as the Midpoint Theorem and the Cyclic Quadrilateral Theorem. The students will develop a clear understanding on how these theorems along with other characteristics of triangles can be used to construct a model which is geometrically sound. The students will get the chance to make conjectures about other situations and help them develop a higher level of understanding about geometry. Although the basis of the lesson is to construct this geometric model, the purpose is to highlight different methods and techniques on how to show the connection between proofs and models. This inductive method of thinking will be useful in future geometry lessons. Immediate (Formative) At the beginning of the lesson the students will give feedback about how they may feel about geometric constructions and proof writing. This information will be an immediate assessment tool to determine the level of interest in the topic. During the lesson students will be observed while they work as a group. The worksheets will be collected and checked to triangulate the observation with their actual work. Throughout the lesson, students will be observed to see if they understand how to use the tools (i.e., theorems and properties) to create sound geometric constructions. Long Range (Formative) The students will have homework which will be collected at the beginning of next class. The students will have to search online and look how to find the center of the nine-point circle and briefly describe this construction. Also the students will write a journal entry answering the following questions. What did you like from the lesson? What did you find hard or complicated?


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