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Teaching Pythagorean Theorem

Back in the Spring of 2009, I was going on interviews as I was moving to the Austin, TX area. During those interviews, I was open to anything K-8th grade as I had the certifications at that time and wanted to change it up from only having taught 2nd and 5th grade for the previous 6 years.

As I was on an interview with a middle school south of Austin (shout out to Hays County), I was sitting with the principal and assistant principal answering their questions. All was going great until…

How would you see yourself teaching a lesson on Pythagorean Theorem to a group of 8th graders?

I hadn’t done my due diligence and done my research on the standards for 8th grade. Moving from 2nd grade at that point it was a huge leap and I had to think on my feet. I hadn’t even used the Pythagorean Theorem since I was in Geometry in High School and that was 14 years before me being in that interview!

My response was LESS THAN stellar. “I would research the standard and work with my team on the best way to teach it to cover the standards and meet their learning needs.

Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. I was BEAT DOWN but it was then I made it into a learning lesson- mainly because my math teacher dad (who was waiting in the car for me) has never let me live it down.

Less than a year later I took my first position teaching 8th-grade mid-year and you better bet that I have known the Pythagorean Theorem ever since. It has become one of my favorite lessons to teach because it is just expanding on their knowledge of the Order of Operations and Square Roots.

One of the first things that I created was a graphic organizer for my students to use to build their knowledge of the steps to work through the Pythagorean Theorem. As of this week, this graphic organizer got a HUGE facelift and is now available as an anchor chart with practice problems to follow up!





Well then of course I had to create some task cards for my students to use while working in stations. These task cards also just got a facelift and I’m sure that you will like them for their simplicity of understanding the basic skill of finding the missing side of a right triangle.


As the years went on I created two different Solve and Snips for building practice using Word Problems. My students love being able to solve these and use the answer bank to fill in and check to make sure they have their work done correctly.



And if that wasn’t enough, this past year my students and I got to review the Pythagorean Theorem, and its converse and identify right triangles from three measures with Pythagorean Theorem Tumbling Towers. It was the PERFECT activity to do on a Friday! My students were engaged, learning and practicing their skills all while building the tallest tower they possibly could before it tumbled.


As you can see, the Pythagorean Theorem is NOT something I will ever forget now. I honestly love teaching it and the simplicity of the formula and plugging numbers into the puzzle to solve.


I’ve even gone through and updated the Pythagorean Theorem Bundle, it includes all of the above items at a discount!


If you already own parts of the bundle, buy the bundle and then request a refund with TpT for the parts that you have already purchased! Easy as that! If you already own the bundle, just go download it again and get all the updated parts! Also, please make sure to leave feedback so I can hear from you how much you enjoy it AND you can get credits toward future purchases!

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