Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our
community around the world.

• ### Craig Polzen

Member
December 3, 2022 at 1:18 pm

I recently put together a lesson that explored the pythagorean theorem where students had to build an access ramp to reach the top of a building. The inspiration came from the ramp that accesses our school doorway. Ultimately, while I found that this captured the attention of the students and had them generating some ideas, I don’t think I have been as successful tapping into the emotional side or spacing the learning in a way that promotes true retention.

I actually discovered quite quickly that there were some gaps in their understanding with algebraic equations, exponents and roots so while I tried to have them follow through with the lesson, we then pivoted to explore algebraic concepts. Ultimately, my goal is to circle back to re-explore pythagorus, but I’m worried about time this semester… as usual.

My general steps went something like this:

1. Image of school ramp with a character on it… notice/wonder?

2. Intro situation of ramp construction at building… how long will the ramp be?

3. Students use string to create ramp models through a series of right angle triangles.

4. Students collect measurements and try to determine how long the ramp will be.