Conics Instructional Unit


Jeffrey R. Frye


Goals for students:  1) Identify conic sections by equation and diagram.  2) Prove that an equation or diagram is a conic section.  3) Derive that a conic section has been constructed by both algebraic and geometric forms.  4) Use Geometer’s Sketchpad GSP to construct conic sections.  5) Explore applications of the different conic sections.

Class periods will be 50 minute blocks of time.  Lessons may extend beyond one class period.

Lesson 1 – Overview of conic sections; review of distance formula, midpoint formula, and properties of circles.

Lesson 2 – Circle properties and equations.

Lesson 3 – Ellipse properties, equations, and construction.  .

Lesson 4 – Parabola properties, equations, and construction.

Lesson 5 – Hyperbola properties, equations, and construction.

Lesson 6 – Review and Assessment

Appendix – Sample Assessment Solutions, Answer Key, and Dictionary