In these lessons, we will learn how to draw triangles under different criteria to explore which criteria result in many, a few, or one triangle.
Related Pages
Similar Triangles
Congruent Triangles
Grade 7 Maths Lessons
Geometry Lessons
Worksheets for 7th Grade, Module 6, Lesson 9 (pdf)
The following figures give the Conditions for a Unique Triangle. Scroll down the page for more
examples and solutions.
Triangles-Side Lengths and Unique Triangles
Students understand that two triangles are identical if all corresponding sides are equal under some correspondence; three side lengths of a triangle determine a unique triangle.
Students understand that two triangles are identical if two corresponding sides and the included angle are equal under some correspondence; two sides and an included angle of a triangle determine a unique triangle.
Lesson 9 Classwork
Opening
Students have learned that triangles are identical if there is a correspondence between the triangles that matches equal
sides to angles of equal measurement. What conditions on a triangle always produce identical triangles? In other
words, what conditions on a triangle determine a unique triangle?
Given a triangle, we consider conditions on the triangle such as the measurements of angles, the measurements of sides, and the relationship between those angles and sides.
If we measure all of the angles and sides and give all the relationships between angles and sides, then any other triangle satisfying the same conditions will be identical to our given triangle.
If we give too few conditions on a triangle, such as the length of one side and the measurement of one angle, then there will be many non-identical triangles that satisfy the conditions.
Sometimes just a few specific conditions on a triangle make it so that every triangle satisfying those conditions is identical to the given triangle. In this case, we say the conditions on a triangle determine a unique triangle; that is, all triangles created using those conditions will be identical.
Exploratory Challenge
A triangle XYZ exists with side lengths of the segments below. Draw a triangle X’Y’Z' with the same side
lengths as XYZ. Use your compass to determine the sides of X’Y’Z'. Use your ruler to measure side lengths.
Leave all construction marks as evidence of your work, and label all side and angle measurements.
Under what condition is X’Y’Z' drawn? Compare the triangle you drew to two of your peers’ triangles. Are the
triangles identical? Did the condition determine a unique triangle? Use your construction to explain why. Do the
results differ from your predictions?
ABC is located below. Copy the sides of the triangle to create A’B’C'. Use your compass to determine the
sides of A’B’C'. Use your ruler to measure side lengths. Leave all construction marks as evidence of your work,
and label all side and angle measurements.
Under what condition is A’B’C' drawn? Compare the triangle you drew to two of your peers’ triangles. Are the
triangles identical? Did the condition determine a unique triangle? Use your construction to explain why.
A triangle DEF has an angle of 40° adjacent to side lengths of 4 cm and 7 cm. Construct D’E’F' with side
lengths D’E' = 4 cm, D’F' = 7 cm, and included angle ∠D = 40°. Use your compass to draw the sides of D’E’F'.
Use your ruler to measure side lengths. Leave all construction marks as evidence of your work, and label all side and
angle measurements.
Under what condition is D’E’F' drawn? Compare the triangle you drew to two of your peers’ triangles. Did the
condition determine a unique triangle? Use your construction to explain why.
XYZ has side lengths XY = 2.5 cm, XZ = 4 cm, and ∧X = 120°. Draw X’Y’Z' under the same conditions. Use
your compass and protractor to draw the sides of X’Y’Z'. Use your ruler to measure side lengths. Leave all
construction marks as evidence of your work, and label all side and angle measurements.
Under what condition is X’Y’Z' drawn? Compare the triangle you drew to two of your peers’ triangles. Are the
triangles identical? Did the condition determine a unique triangle? Use your construction to explain why.
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