Education Technology

Proof of the Pythagorean Theorem using Transformations

Published on 06/09/2008

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