This activity is intended to supplement Trigonometry, Chapter 6, Lesson 4.
Time Required: 15 minutes
Students will explore what is necessary to understand the calculus of polar equations. Students will graphically and algebraically find the slope of the tangent line at a point on a polar graph. Finding the area of a region of a polar curve will be determined using the area formula.
Topic: Polar Equations
Find the slope of a polar equation at a particular point.
Find the area of polar equation.
Teacher Preparation and Notes
Make sure each students' calculator is in RADIANS (RAD) and POLAR (POL) in the MODE menu.
Plotting Coordinates & Exploring Polar Graphs
Students begin the activity by plotting points on a polar graph. This should be a refresher of polar coordinates for most students. Students practice using the calculator to graph a polar equation.
What do you think it means to have a negative angle, like (−π3,3)?
What about if r was negative? For example, move to (π2,−6).
1. See image below.
3. a heart or cardioid