Thales & Pythagoras Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about Thales and Pythagoras with this helpful lesson plan. They will view a video lesson about Thales and Pythagoras, take a related lesson quiz, and participate in a fun, hands-on activity.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson about Thales and Pythagoras, your students will be able to:

  • Describe the early lives of Thales and Pythagoras
  • Explain several of the contributions to geometry made by the two men
  • Recount how these contributions are still used to this day

Length

1 - 1.5 Hours

Materials

  • Copy of the text lesson Thales & Pythagoras: Early Contributions to Geometry, along with the related lesson quiz
  • Internet access
  • Protractors (with a small center hole)
  • Scissors
  • Straw (not the bendy type)
  • String (about one-foot in length)
  • Tape (clear)
  • Weight (small weight, a small metal nut will work)
  • Print copies of isosceles right triangle found below in the activity instructions

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.SRT.A.2

Given two figures, use the definition of similarity in terms of similarity transformations to decide if they are similar; explain using similarity transformations the meaning of similarity for triangles as the equality of all corresponding pairs of angles and the proportionality of all corresponding pairs of sides.

Warmup

  • Let your students know they will be studying the two famous Greek mathematicians Thales and Pythagoras.
  • Ask them if anyone is familiar with the two men, or has studied them previously.
  • Read the short introduction to this lesson.

Instructions

  • Start the video Thales & Pythagoras: Early Contributions to Geometry and pause the video for the first time at 0:45.
    • What does the field of geometry entail?
  • Now, restart the video and pause this time at 2:14.
    • What five contributions did Thales make to geometry?
  • Next, restart the video again and pause this time at 3:32.
    • What four contributions did Pythagoras make to geometry?
  • Now, restart the video and pause for a final time at 4:02.
    • Which of the contributions by the two men is used most today?
  • Restart the video and watch the 'Lesson Summary' section on the two mathematicians.
  • Have your students take the lesson quiz to demonstrate their newfound knowledge of the two men.

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