Conditional Statements in Geometry Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Understanding conditional statements will help students comprehend how proofs and theorems work in geometry. This lesson offers activities that will help your students make more sense of conditional statements.

Importance of Conditional Statements

As a geometry teacher, some of your time will be dedicated to helping your students learn how proofs work, how to read them, and why they help in the development of geometric theorems. However, to better help them understand the process of proving something in geometry, you first need to teach your students the definition of a conditional statement. Conditional statements in geometry are essentially if-then statements: if the premise represented by ''p'' is true, then the conclusion represented by ''q'' is also true.

Many students will need some practice to make sense of conditional statements, and you can provide that practice while keeping students engaged with and excited about geometry. The activities in this lesson are designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles while teaching about conditional statements.

Visual Activities

In this section, the activities will give students a chance to work from a visual vantage point to gain a clear understanding of conditional statements.

Gallery of Conditional Statements

This activity lets students work in pairs to illustrate why one specific conditional statement works.

Directions

  • Give each pair one example of a conditional statement in the form of ''if p then q.''
  • Ask them to draw a diagram or series of illustrations representing the conditional statement and how or why it is logically true.
  • When the pairs have finished, hang their diagrams around the classroom and let them circulate to look at each other's work.
  • Close with a discussion about what students learned regarding conditional statements overall.

Questioning the Converse

Begin this activity by posing the question, ''Is the converse of a conditional statement true?'' In other words, given ''if p then q,'' can we also say, ''if q then p'' The answer is ''no,'' but students will discover that on their own.

Directions

  • Organize the class into small groups and ask them to draw geometric illustrations representing at least three different true conditional statements.
  • Then, ask the groups to determine whether the converse is true.
  • Bring the class together to see what students learned about the converse of a conditional statement using inductive reasoning and their images.

Tactile Activities

Here, you will find some activities that let students work with their bodies and hands to understand conditional statements in geometry.

Matching P and Q

Directions

  • Give half of your students cards with the first clause to a variety of conditional statements, in other words, ''p.'' Give the other half of the class corresponding cards with the related ''q.''
  • Allow students to mill around the room and talk to identify their corresponding partners.
  • At the end of the activity, have the corresponding partners read their conditional statements.

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