Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Math Picture Books to Love: What's Your Angle Pythagoras?

What's Your Angle Pythagoras? by Julie Ellis

  • Target Skill(s): Pythagorean Theorem 
  • Book Synopsis: Pythagoras was a curious boy who lived long ago in ancient Greece.  Pythagoras was a problem solver and liked to solve the problems of those around him. While traveling with his father, Pythagoras met a man named Nef who told him about a knotted rope he used to make right angles so that his square corners are perfect. After the encounter, Pythagoras made his own special knotted rope and used it to discover the secret of the right triangle. Pythagoras used this knowledge to create squares along the legs of a right triangle. Through his exploration, he discovered that the total number of squares on the two shorter legs equaled the number of squares on the longest leg. Pythagoras tested his hypothesis on various other right triangles and discovered that his hypothesis was indeed correct! 
  • Math Involved: This story analyzes the relationship between the legs on a right triangle and introduces the Pythagorean Theorem.
  • Questions to Ponder:
    • What relationship did Pythagoras discover?
    • What is the Pythagorean Theorem? Give an example.
    • How can we prove the Pythagorean Theorem? 
    • How do you use the Pythagorean Theorem to find sides of right triangles? 
    • Will the Pythagorean Theorem work for any kind of triangle?
    • What is a hypotenuse?
  • Activity Ideas: 
    • Give students a variety of triangles (with whole centimeters sides). Have students measure the sides of each triangle and determine which ones show that the short side squared + the long side squared = the hypotenuse squared. 
    • Practice solving the problems on pages 24 and 29 of the book.
    • Create a model of Pythagoras's discovery. Have students write what they learned at the bottom.
  • Book Link on Amazon: