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In this activity, you will learn how to use the interactive geoboard in the Gizmotm.

1. In the Gizmo, click and drag one of the dots located in the top left corner of the geoboard. Drop the endpoint
wherever you like. Then drag the other endpoint of the segment and place it in any new location.
a. What type of figure do you have?
b. How many endpoints does a line segment have?
2. Click near the middle of the line segment and drag away from the segment. Notice that you have made a third
vertex.
a. What type of figure have you made now?
b. How many vertices does a triangle have?
3. Use a similar method to make a quadrilateral. Then turn on Show side lengths and Show right angles. Turn
your quadrilateral into a rectangle.
a. How can you tell that you have a rectangle?
b. How can you turn your rectangle into a square?
c. Drag a vertex of the square and drop it on top of another vertex. What happens to the vertex? What kind of
figure do you have now?
Area and the Pythagorean Theorem
In this activity, you will use the interactive geoboard to help you discover the Pythagorean Theorem.

1. Click Clear. Be sure Show side lengths and Show right angles are turned on. Click on Build 3, 4, 5. Notice
that a 3-4-5 triangle is a right triangle.
a. Which sides are the legs of the right triangle? What are their lengths?
b. Which side is the hypotenuse? What is its length?
2. Drag the red dot from the upper left corner of the geoboard and place it on an endpoint of the side of the
triangle that is 3 units long. Then drag the other red dot from the upper left corner and place it on the other
endpoint of the same side. You should now have a line segment with red endpoints that lies on top of the side
of the triangle that is 3 units long.
3. Use the segment with red endpoints to build a 3-by-3 square. When you are done with this step, the triangle
and the square should share a side, as shown below. (Note: The direction that your triangle is facing and the
colors of the triangle and square do not matter.)

4. Use the remaining two dots in the upper left corner of the geoboard to build two more squares. One should be
a 4-by-4 square that shares the side of the triangle that is 4 units long. The other should be a 5-by-5 square
that shares the hypotenuse of the triangle as one of its sides. When you are done, turn off Show side lengths
and Show right angles and turn on Show grids. Your figure should look like the image below. (Again, if your
diagram is turned a different direction or has different colors, that does not matter.)
5. Find the areas of the three squares in the diagram.
a. What are the areas of each of the squares?
b. What is the sum of the areas of the squares on the legs? What is the area of the square on the hypotenuse?
How do these compare?
c. You started with a right triangle with side lengths 3, 4, and 5. By building squares and finding areas you
should have found that 32 + 42 = 52. What equation would you have if the side lengths of the right triangle
were a, b, and c instead of 3, 4, and 5? (Use c as the length of the hypotenuse.) This is the Pythagorean
Theorem.
6. To test the Pythagorean Theorem, a2 + b2 = c2, click Build 5-12-13. Notice that you have a right triangle with
side lengths 5, 12, and 13. Build a square on each side, like you did with the 3-4-5 triangle.
a. What are the areas of each of the three squares?
b. What is the sum of the areas of the squares on the legs? What is the area of the square on the hypotenuse?
c. What does 52 + 122 equal? What does 132 equal?
7. Click Clear. Turn on Show side lengths and Show right angles. Build other right triangles in the Gizmo. Build a
square on each side.
a. Is it true that a2 + b2 = c2 for all right triangles? Write down the side lengths of the right triangles you built.
b. Try building another right triangle in which all three side lengths are integers. Can you do it? If so, what are
the side lengths?
8. The Pythagorean Theorem, a2 + b2 = c2, is true for all right triangles. If you know two side lengths in a right
triangle, you can use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the third side length. Find the missing side length for
the right triangles given below. Round your answers to the nearest tenth. (Assume that a and b are leg lengths,
and c is a hypotenuse length.)
a. a = 9, b = 12, c = ?
b. a = 9, b = 13, c = ?
c. a = 3, b = ?, c = 10
d. a = ?, b = 4.5, c = 6.8