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Big Ideas:
The Pythagorean Theorem is used in a variety of real world applications.
There are multiple ways to draw figures to represent various calculations when working with polyhedra.
This lesson builds on students' work using the Pythagorean Theorem to solve two-dimensional real-world problems. This task uses the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt and the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada which is modeled on the Great Pyramid. The Great Pyramid is a square pyramid with four lateral edges that join the four triangular faces of the pyramid. Students are asked to find several ways to calculate the length of the lateral edge of the Great Pyramid. While there is only one answer, there are several ways that students can use the Pythagorean Theorem to find that answer. The mathematical concepts in this lesson are using the Pythagorean Theorem in real world contexts and recognizing that there are multiple ways to draw figures to do calculations involving three-dimensional shapes.
Vocabulary:
pyramid, lateral edge, lateral face or side, lateral height, height of pyramid, base, edge, vertex, Pythagorean Theorem
Special Materials:
sketch of Great Pyramid
graph paper or isometric dot paper
calculator
materials to construct models of Luxor Hotel and Great Pyramid (optional)