Materials for today’s lesson:

  • Giant grid paper
  • Red, green, and blue sharpies
  • Ruler
  • Bag of Cheez-Its

I instructed students to use the grid paper to draw a 3×4 right triangle, then I told them to make a square on each side and cover it with the Cheez-Its.  (By the way, this lesson was inspired and conceived 2 minutes before class started, but clearly it was foreordained by God from the beginning of time: the Cheez-Its were exactly the same size as the squares on the grid paper.)

Here is Stage 1 of the Cheez-Its project:

image 1

Okay, so it took 9 Cheez-Its to cover the small square, and another 16 Cheez-Its to cover the medium square.  Hey, class: how many Cheez-Its do you think it will take to cover the big square?

image 2

Here is the work of Mia and Pali.  Check out their creative flair!

image 3

When I asked students to write down what they learned from the activity, Pali summarized it thusly: “The square on A plus the square on B is exactly equal to the square on C.”  Pythagoras would have been so proud!

I am indebted to Emma for this activity.  Check out her great work over on YouTube!