Education Technology

Unwrapping the Unit Circle

Activity Overview

Students will learn the shapes of the graphs of the sine and cosine functions and how they relate to the unit circle.

About the Lesson

Students will observe an animation where the unit circle is traced.  As the unit circle is traced, the values for the angle, 𝜃, and the corresponding x- (cos 𝜃) or y-(sin 𝜃) will be plotted on a graph below (as coordinate pairs (𝜃, sin/cos𝜃).  Students will make connections between the unit circle and the graphs of the cosine and sine functions at key points.