Lesson 1

Introduction to Conic Sections

In this lesson an overview of how the different conic sections can be identified will be the starting point.  The picture below shows how the sections are made by slicing the cones with a plane.  If the software is available, graphing calculator can be used to show this using technology.  A flashlight demonstration could be used if the technology is not available.

conic section overview.gif

Formula Review:

            Distance formula -

            Midpoint formula -


Identifying Conics by Formula and Graph

            By identifying the degree of each of the variables, the leading coefficient of the variables,

and the sign of these leading coefficients, students will identify the conic section

being expressed.  Practice graphing and identifying conics by opening GSP and graphing

the following: 

Constructing Circles in the Coordinate Plane

            Given the coordinates, segments, points, or combinations of these, students will be able

to construct circles.  Click here to explore circle construction.  Try some of the sample

problems listed below: