Education Technology

Proof of the Pythagorean Theorem using Transformations

Activity Overview

In this activity, students will explore visual proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem using area and transformations. They will use the Cabri™ Jr. app to perform translations on the squares constructed on the two legs and the hypotenuse of a right triangle to consolidate their understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem visually.

Before the Activity

  • Install the Cabri Jr. App on the students' graphing calculators using TI-Connect™, a TI Connectivity Cable and the Unit-to-Unit Link Cable
  • Use the TI-Navigator™ to transfer the attached Cabri Jr. AppVar files to each calculator
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 71 - 74 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Use the AppVar to go directly to the exploration section
  • Construct three squares along each of the sides of a right triangle, and explore the relationship that exists among the areas of the three squares
  • Translate the smallest square into the largest square, divide the third square, and move a piece of the third square into the largest square
  • Use additional transformations to verify that this construction supports the Pythagorean theorem
  • After the Activity

    Review student results:

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