Pythagorean Theorem Art Project Ideas

Written by michael e carpenter
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Pythagorean Theorem Art Project Ideas
Right triangles can create artistic patterns. (triangle texture image by michele goglio from Fotolia.com)

The Pythagorean Theorem states that the area of the two sides forming the right triangles is equal to the sum of the hypotenuse. Commonly we see Pythagorean theory shown as a^2 + b^2 = c^2. Many of the proofs for the theorem are beautiful geometric designs, such as Bhaskara's proof. You can incorporate this famous theory into various art projects.

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Finding the Hypotenuse

This activity requires the students to rearrange the five shaded pieces to create a larger square, which is a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. Have the students cut out each of the shaded sections and colour or design them any way they want. It may take them a while to determine how to put the square together, but the end result will be an interesting mosaic of designs.

Square Project

Another art project can be providing students will many different sizes of squares. Each square can fit into one triangle. Have the students first do all the designs on the squares. Have them determine which squares go together to create a right triangle. Glue the squares onto construction paper. The students can then finish the project by designing the interior of the right triangle.

Dots

Instruct the students to make a dot drawing of a square. Then have them draw a number of different right triangles within the square. When they have completed this drawing, have them create a right triangle and make the dots to complete squares on each of the sides of the triangle and hypotenuse. Then provide the children with materials such as cotton balls, sea shells or googly eyes to create artwork demonstrating the Pythagorean theory.

Artwork

Some famous pieces of art demonstrate the use of Pythagorean Theorem. Show your students some of the works. Challenge them to create a piece of art that demonstrates the theory without necessarily drawing a formal triangle in their artwork. Keep samples of the artwork available for the children to use as guides.

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