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Problem Solving Classroom

Tips from a Master Teacher (This is a work in progress.)

To Catch an Elephant

by Mark Illingworth
To Catch an Elephant

This is a similar triangle problem where all the parameters are not already prescribed for the students. They have to identify the pertinent data and create a diagram that shows how similar triangles and proportions can be applied.

Students have to figure out where to place an elephant and a pair of tweezers relative to an eye so that the viewer can imagine picking up the tiny elephant in the background with a pair of tweezers in the foreground. They translate what they discover with specific examples into generalized relationships that can be used to relate all the variables.

Course(s): Geometry

Difficulty: 2/5

Length: medium

Topics: similarity, proportions, similar triangles

Problem Type: Develop & Discover

Layered by difficulty? no

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