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Virginia Content Standards:
T.4 The student will determine the value of any trig function.
T.9 The student will identify, create, and solve practical problems involving triangles. Techniques will include
using the trigonometric functions, the Pythagorean Theorem, the Law of Sines, and the Law of Cosines.
Understandings: The student will understand
That the outcome of the Law of Sines may present three different cases 1 triangle, 2 triangles (the
ambiguous case), or no triangles.
Why the Law of Sines may have an outcome of 2 different triangles and how to determine the specific side
and angle measures of each.
Why the Law of Sines works and its relationship to the right triangle.
Essential Questions:
How does one determine using the Law of Sines if the given information represents one, two, or no triangles?
Why does the Law of Sines work and what is its relationship to the right triangle?
How does one solve a triangle for all sides and angle measures using the Law of Sines?
Students will be able to:
Solve a triangle for all sides and angle measures using the Law of Sines.
Determine if the given information represents one, two, or no triangles by using the Law of Sines.
Discuss why the ratios are proportional using trigonometric definitions and right triangles.
G.R.A.S.P.S.
Students will write a paper discussing the following:
Three cases of the Law of Sines, and
Give an example of a triangle that will illustrate each of the cases, explaining your logic and math
thoroughly.
Performance Tasks: (Including quizzes, tests, reflective assessments, projects)
SEE G.R.A.S.P.S.
Learning Activities:
Date:_____________
DN: Given a right triangle with side of length 3, 4, and 5 shown below.
Determine the Sin A B
Sin B c = 5 a = 3
Sin C
A C
b = 4
** Substitute values into the following ratios EMBED Equation.3
Lead students to making the conjecture that each ratio simplifies to the length of the hypotenuse.
** Does this hold true for different side lengths of right triangles?
Does this hold true for different types of triangles?
Use Capri Jr. and open LAWSIN
This program shows the angle measure of each angle of the triangle, the side
lengths of the triangle, and the sine of each angle.
In the upper right corner are the results of the ratios given above showing that they are proportional
and equal to the hypotenuse.
Grab and move any of the vertices of the triangle paying close attention to the proportional values and
the hypotenuse (c) length.
Students may note that c is being used for the hypotenuse in the above illustration therefore the
ratios involving a and b will be proportional. If we needed to find or use the ratio
containing c then we would need to hold either side a or b as if it were the hypotenuse.
Remind students that if we know 3 of the items of the chosen proportion then we can compute the 4th
value.
** Discovering the cases that produce one or two triangles.
Go back to the DN and review that the students are viewing a right triangle with sides 3, 4 ,and 5.
Set up the sine function as EMBED Equation.3 . We have one triangle.
Use Capri Jr. and open LAWSINB
Note that we are starting out with a right triangle and that the values for side a and c are given.
Also note that EMBED Equation.3 which is given in the upper right corner and that all angle measures are
given.
Grab angle C and move it around noting that EMBED Equation.3 continues to equal a. We have one
triangle. Also note that a > c.
Create a chart as shown below.
BC (side a) EMBED Equation.3 EMBED Equation.3 EMBED Equation.3 + EMBED Equation.3
Grab and move angle C to illustrate a triangle where angle B is obtuse. Record the length of side
a and the angle measure of C1. Grab and move angle C to illustrate a triangle where angle C is obtuse and side a is the same as the recorded length. Record the second measure for angle C2.
Repeat this process with several side lengths and recording angle measures produced from the
two different triangles.
Complete the chart.
Make a conjecture. (The sum of the two angles with the same side length for a will be
supplementary.) a < c
Might also make relationship that sine x is positive in the first and second quadrants and
that the reference angles formed in those quadrants have the same value. The reference
angles are also supplementary.
Additional Example: Given EMBED Equation.3 (See Table A)
Table A Table B
AB79.868100.132C4949ab66c4.64.6ABC4949ab66c4.64.6
Solve the triangle for all remaining sides and angles.
The first angle found will be angle B (79.868 degrees). Set up a table of values as shown above and determine the supplement of angle B ( 100.132 degrees), record in the third column. See Table B
Use the Law of Sines and the concept that the sum of all angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees to find angle A and side a for each possibility. Lastly use logic to be sure that the largest angle is across from the largest side and that the smallest angle is across from the smallest side value. See Table C
Table C
A51.13230.868B79.868100.132C4949a4.7463.127b66c4.64.6
** Discovering the case that will not produce a triangle.
Have students refer to the 3, 4, 5 triangle. Hold the angle measures the same but shorten the side of
length 4 to 2. You will not have a triangle.
Use Capri Jr. and open LAWSINZ
Note that a triangle is not formed on the screen.
Have students observe the side lengths of the triangle as well as the value of EMBED Equation.3 .
Students will make the conjecture a < c Sin A.
Conclusion: Students are to complete the GRASPS.
LAW OF SINES
P. Bailey 11/2004 PAGE 2
LAW OF SINES
P. Bailey 11/2004 PAGE 1
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