Who is Pythagoras?

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Objectives and Goals

Target Objective:

  • In an online discussion forum, students will be able to determine importance of Pythagoras in mathematical history by stating at least one of Pythagoras' accomplishments, and why this/these accomplishment(s) are the best.

Activity Goals:

  • Given three different reading strategies, the student will be able to choose one of reading strategies, evidenced by the form completed.
  • Given different reading passages, students will be able to read at least three of the passages, and then generate in writing responses to the questions asked.
  • Given questions based on the reading passages and Pythagoras, students will be able to generate in writing responses to these questions.

NYS Standards:

  • ELA.07.RE1: Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding.
  • ELA1.07.RE1.02: Students interpret data, facts, and ideas from informational texts by applying thinking skills, such as define, classify, and infer.
  • SS2.1.4A: Students explain the literal meaning of a historical passage or primary source document, identifying who was involved, what happened, where it happened, what events led up to the developments and what consequences or outcomes followed.

Activity One:Part One:

As a group, you will need to complete either a "Know-Want to Know-Learned", "Search Strategy", or an "I-Chart" form. These pages will help your group gather your thoughts about the readings BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER you read the passages below.

Make sure as you are reading that you are paying close to the details, and try to answer your own questions. You will first need to read the information pages before you can read the passages below.

Information Page on Know-Want to Know-Learned

Information Page on Search Strategy

Information Page on I-Chart

Activity One:Reading Passages:

http://www.notablebiographies.com/Pu-Ro/Pythagoras.html -This is a reading passage on the life of Pythagoras from the Encyclopedia of World Biographies.

http://www.storyofmathematics.com/greek_pythagoras.html -This reading passage includes information on Pythagoras' accomplishments.

http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~demo5337/Group3/hist.html -This reading passage includes visual pictures of the proofs behind the Pythagorean Theorem.

http://festivals.iloveindia.com/teachers-day/famous-teachers/pythagoras.html -This reading passage gives yet another point of view on Pythagoras' life.

Additional Resources

What's Your Angle, Pythagoras? by Julie Ellis (book)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPP2pdEI-lc (Tunnel of Eupalinos)- This video clip gives a real life example of Pythagoras' Theorem.

Activity One:Part Two:

Now that your group has completed the readings, use your reading strategy chart ("Know-Want to Know-Learned", "Search Strategy" or "I-Chart") to help you answer the questions on the Questions About Pythagoras Page.

Questions About Pythagoras


The objectives stated above come from the New Common Core Standards: www.nylearns.org

go back to Pythagorean Theorem

go on to Activity Two Proof Behind the Pythagorean Theorem