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From a Distance...You Can See It!

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students find the distance between points using common fractions and decimals, with the concepts of midpoint and distance. They also learn to solve problems using the Pythagorean theorem.

Before the Activity

  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 97 - 100 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the activity procedures:

  • Draw a line segment and label three midpoints as described
  • Use the calculator to determine the measure of each half segment


  • Plot a trapezoid on a grid paper
  • Mark and label the midpoints of three sides
  • Use the midpoint formula to find the midpoint of the fourth side
  • Use the distance formula to determine the length of the fourth side


  • Draw a diagonal along a 3" x 5" card, forming two right triangles
  • Draw an altitude from the right triangle to the hypotenuse of one of the right triangles, forming three triangles
  • Measure the lengths of the sides of the three triangles and record the values in a table
  • Compare side lengths and check if they confirm to the Pythagorean theorem
  • After the Activity

    Students complete the Student Activity pages and solve problems.

  • Review student results
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary