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Suitcase Circle

by Dan Meyer

Suitcase Circle

Act One

  • Dan Meyer

    Dan Meyer

    April 14, 2017

    How many suitcases are in the entire circle?

  • 1.

    What's a number you know is too high?

  • 2.

    What's a number you know is too low?

Act Two

  • FileSuitcase Circle Handout
  • Teacher note
    With this handout, students should attempt to construct the center of the circle. (One method, draw two chords and the perpendicular bisectors of those chords. The bisectors will intersect at the circle. From there, students will need to apply proportional reasoning to determine how many suitcases are in the entire circle, given the small arc they see.

    You can also encourage students to import the image into constructive geometry software and perform the constructions there.

Act Three


  • 3.

    What does adding one suitcase to the circle do to the diameter? What is the greatest number of suitcases you could fit in the building?

  • Teacher note
    Ask students to analyze carrots in the same way.
  • FileCarrot Circle Handout
  • ImageCarrot Circle Answer

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