Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Class Time Stories

Who says children aren't ready for the more Grimm of the Grimm Fairy Tales? Today I introduced the special right triangles, but I wanted to quickly show my students where the crazy ratios came from. The story I'm about to repeat to you started with "they got divorced", and one student asked, "why does it always have to be about divorce? Why not an assassin?"... And so I give you the final story (picture all the geometry figures that go along with it).

Once upon a time there was this square. He was EVERY SQUARE, so his sides were of length "x" to stand for EVERY SQUARE. Life was grand. Suddenly! An assassin came along and PHSHWOOT sliced that square in half right through the diagonal and ran away with 1/2 the square laughing maniacally. The square was a broken man. He was half the man he used to be. (draw right triangle). What are his angles? (place a big question mark on the hypotenuse). The townspeople were not compassionate about the "square" after the tragic incident. They were more curious as to the length of his scar. (go through process of finding the hypotenuse in terms of x). The End. Or is it?

But wait, no one ever caught the assassin. Over in Equilateral Triangle Land, a hapless EVERY EQUILATERAL was innocently going about his days. His side lengths were 2x. Cue in the music. PHSHWOOT, the assassin strikes again ...... etc, etc. .... The end....

1 comment:

  1. Much better than the sweet story I had made up a few years ago and never used because I knew it wouldn't fly...

    I might try this. Will my college students go for it?