Mathematics Grade 8
Strand: GEOMETRY (8.G) Standard 8.G.7
2 class periods of 90 minutes each
In this project, students will further explore their knowledge of right triangles, concentrating on the 30-60-90 special right triangle. In cooperative learning groups, students will design and create a scaled down model of a life sized tourist attraction similar to Fort Jefferson in the Florida Keys. Students will expand and solidify their knowledge of right triangles in creating and constructing this real life model.
Students should meet in their groups and sketch a blueprint of their structure before they actually start their constructions.
Finished projects should be able to fit easily on a student desktop.
Materials which will be needed are:
I found that it is important to make the list of materials short, and inexpensive. If each student is required to bring one piece of posterboard, this whole project can be constructed using the above list of supplies. I would suggest that you not allow students to use clay, paints, living materials, or food items. These can add to the expense of the project, and make the project too heavy to be portable.
Teachers will want to use this lesson after their students are familiar with the qualities of right triangles. Students should know how to use, and measure triangle sides using the Pythagorean Theorem. Students will also need to know properties of the 30-60-90 right triangle.
In this lesson, teachers will be putting students in cooperative learning groups. This is not recommended to be the first activity of this type. Teachers may want to use cooperative learning activities in their classroom before using this activity.
Students will need to know how to use the Pythagorean Theorem, find perimeter and be familiar with the regular hexagon and how to find the interior angles of this shape. Students will also need to have practiced problems using the 30-60-90 special right triangle.
Students will explore the properties of right triangles, and expand and solidify their knowledge in creating and constructing a real life model.
In small learning groups, students will conceive a structure, create a small scale model of their attraction, assess themselves and other groups, and present their models and findings to the class.
After learning and practicing special right triangle problems involving the 30-60-90 triangle, students are ready to use their knowledge in this hands on activity. Students will be clustered in cooperative learning groups of 2-3 students in each group.
The following steps should be used to develop the assignment concept:
This lesson can be easily adapted to any level of student. A student who may be struggling can be helped by other members of their cooperative learning group. An ELL student can be included by using aspects of their culture to create an attraction which has significance to their particular culture. Gifted students can be more challenged by adding additional right triangle structures, and finding their perimeters, side lengths and angle measurements.
By use of a summary paper, students will use their writing skills from their English curriculum. While presenting their findings, students can also practice their public speaking skills.
Attached is a sample Assessment Rubric. You may use this method of assessment, or choose one of your own.