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Big Ideas:
Every point on the coordinate plane is represented by a horizontal and a vertical distance. We can use these distances in the Pythagorean Theorem to find the shortest distance between two points.
This lesson uses the distance between coordinates and the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two points that are not horizontal or vertical to each other. The task uses a coordinate plane to mark the location of trees that students use to plan a zipline course. Students need to plan at least three ziplines that are more than 120 feet and less than 830 feet and at least one zipline must cross the pond. To find the distance between the trees, students will use the coordinates of each tree to calculate the horizontal and vertical distances of the right triangle that connects the two trees. Then, using the Pythagorean Theorem, students will find the length of the hypotenuse of the right triangle, which is the length of the zipline.
Vocabulary:
hypotenuse, right triangle, leg, square root, coordinates, coordinate plane
Special Materials:
Wacky Woods handout or graph paper to make their own diagram
rulers
calculator