The law of sines and cosines can be difficult to understand, but it all comes down to sides and angles (vertices) and their proportional relationships. Once kids have mastered the basic equations, they can use the given information to calculate missing quantities. Trigonometry applies to a variety of real-world professions, and games that show this rank high on students’ fun quotient. As a quick reminder, the Law of Sines uses SSA and AAS, while the Law of Cosines uses SSS or SAS. Be aware that students will need to use calculators for this level of math.
Challenge students with this intricate maze. They must calculate the missing sides and/or angle measurements to know which way to go in the maze. This creates an extra element of fun for tricky math equations.
Learn More: Lumsden SHS Math
2. PowerPoint Race
Students are divided into teams for this Powerpoint race to answer ten questions. Each question must be solved and verified before they can move to the next problem. Designate several kids to be the “gatekeepers” who verify correct answers. Which team will win?
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3. Coloring by Code
This worksheet challenges students to use the two laws to solve the various triangles. Kids then match the answers with specific colors to decorate the picture. Once they have the color match, they can color in the specific part of the picture.
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Activities in Geogebra allow students to visualize the law of sines. Different triangles are created by the students as they move the points around the screen. The six values of the parts of the triangle change as the points move. There are many options to explore!
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Take a bird’s eye view of your town using MapQuest. Give kids protractors, a map, and the instructions. They’ll create triangles using only a few given measurements and calculate the distances between places on the map. They’ll need to be precise with measurements to find the correct distances.
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Students practice measuring triangles to calculate the length of scalene triangles in order to calculate the height of the gnomon on their sundials. They’ll use the sun’s altitude and shadow lengths at various latitudes to figure out the style length.
Learn More: My Sundial
7. Find the Fake
At each angle, have students imagine each angle is a flashlight beam pointing to the opposite wall. Which would create the circle with the largest diameter on the opposite wall? The largest angle creates the largest diameter, so students will eventually discover that B is fake.
Learn More: Ms. Kozai’s Class
A simple trashcan and a wad of paper create a team-calculating activity. Kids solve problems and verify they’re correct with you. If correct, they get a chance to score points by making a basket – put tape lines on the floor to indicate 1- and 2-point lines.
Learn More: Hoff Math
9. Scavenger Hunt
Create a series of word problems and post them around the room. Students must solve the problems and match the correct answers with the “previous answer” posted on each new problem. If done correctly, they should complete all problems, collecting letters along the way to answer a riddle.
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10. Mini Golf
Explore trigonometry with this interactive mini-golf game. Kids must calculate answers using the sine and cosine ratios in order to properly play this fun game of golf. This gives a real-world spin to complex math, letting kids see the application to outdoor fun.
Learn More: Math Interactives
Kids solve this challenging puzzle by using trigonometric principles, including sine and cosine. They’ll have to use the information given in order to calculate the missing angles and side lengths. It will take multiple steps but will entice kids to create their own pile-ups for others to solve.
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12. Trig River
Students will apply real-world knowledge to calculate the distance of a river. They’ll also work with unit conversion and learn how engineers use trigonometry in real life. Provide kids with the worksheet, a protractor, and a string to estimate and calculate distances.
Learn More: Teach Engineering
13. Zen Math
Have students create lines on white paper to create 10 blank sections. Then, calculate the missing answers on each triangle and match them with a corresponding pattern. Finally, use the pattern to fill in one of the blank spaces on the drawing.
Learn More: Funrithmetic
14. Rocket Angles
Kids blast off as rocketship captains in this interactive online game. They’ll calculate the missing angles in order to find aliens in outer space. Each student will need a protractor to calculate the angles and shapes.
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15. Angry Birds
Believe it or not, Angry Birds helps kids to visualize the angles needed to shoot down birds. They’ll be learning trigonometric principles by visualizing the optimum projectile angle to hit their target. Why not add an extra element by including protractors and having them identify triangles?
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16. Occupation Imagination
Have students explore the utility of trigonometry in various professions. Brainstorm which jobs would use triangles and require calculating distances. Then have kids conduct research to confirm their predictions.
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17. Create Your Own
Challenge kids to create their own challenging word problem and include illustrations to show real-world applications. Have them solve the problem separately and then challenge others to find the answer or solve the problem and make a poster to display their knowledge.
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Support kinesthetic learners with this complex and entertaining board game. Two players face off to get their twin tokens through the gameboard by rolling dice and solving problems. The dice have various SIN and COS options on them, with players positioning their tokens along a circle.
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Use this creative problem idea to upgrade the old-school dot-to-dot. Kids must figure out the answers to multiple trigonometric problems in order to find which two line segments to connect next on their mystery graph.
Learn More: FunMaths
20. 3D Calculations
More advanced students can begin to visualize math in 3D shapes. Work with these problems to demonstrate an expanded version of trigonometry using the law of sines and cosines. Kids will need to determine the missing angles and side measurements to solve the 3D shape.
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21. Real-World Videos
Listen to popular professionals in a variety of occupations discuss how they use math on a daily basis in their jobs. Then kids can try their hand at these online games and problems. From math in basketball to math in special effects, kids will be amazed by all the real-world applications of their studies!
Learn More: Get the Math
22. Virtual Manipulatives
Check out the amazing challenges offered by the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives. With multiple offerings for different levels, these games will help kids to visualize math in a new way and kinesthetically work with the problems, including measuring the distance between world cities.
Learn More: NLVM