Sunday, May 3, 2015

Geometry: Construction Project

The posters you see here (and in the da Vinci hallways) were created by my Geometry students as a way to learn, practice, and demonstrate their knowledge of constructing exact geometrical shapes, angles, and line segments using only a compass and unmarked straightedge.

Somewhere on one of the posters, each da Vinci Geometry student demonstrated how to do nine different constructions using a compass and an unmarked straightedge:

  • Copy a line segment 
  • Construct a circle 
  • Construct a triangle that is congruent to another scalene triangle 
  • Construct an angle bisector (essentially, split an angle into two evenly) 
  • Construct a perpendicular bisector of a line segment 
  • Construct a regular hexagon, regular octagon, or 30°-60°-90° triangle 
  • Construct the perpendicular to a given line through an external point 
  • Construct a line parallel to a given line and through an external point 
  • Construct a non-equilateral isosceles triangle 

If you look closely, you can see some pencil marks from their construction process!

I got the idea and some materials for this project from a teacher in San Francisco who goes by the name cheesemonkeysf online. At her blog, she wrote: “Einstein was right — imagination IS more important than knowledge. […]I created this Constructions Castle project to give students plenty of practice doing constructions while also giving them a chance to develop their understanding of how shapes and angles fit together.”

Thanks to cheesemonkeysf for the great idea and to the Geometry class for doing such a fabulous job on this project. Your posters are much more beautiful than a pile of test papers!

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