Education Technology

Unit Circle

Activity Overview

Connect the unit circle to the corresponding sine, cosine and tangent ratios. Watch the animated graph and table of values to help make these connections. Answer the questions in the student activity to rehearse the calculations, identify the patterns and make the connections.

Note: This activity uses degrees. For a unit circle activity using radians refer to Senior Curriculum Inspirations.


ACMMG274 - Use the unit circle to define trigonometric functions, and graph them with and without the use of digital technologies


  • Sine
  • Cosine
  • Tangent
  • Unit circle
  • Complementary angles

About the Lesson

Students are provided with three activity files, sine, cosine and tangent. Each file looks at the specific trigonometric ratio and allows student to explore how the angle is related to the unit circle. Students then animate the unit circle and see the graph and table of values produced at the same time helping them connect the numerical and visual representations of the ratio. The activity documents require students to rehearse the calculations helping them identify patterns in behaviour and therefore connect all three ratios conceptually.