The Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid:
A WebQuest Activity for Secondary Geometry Students


The pyramids have fascinated mankind for generations. They hold this fascination because of their mystery and unanswered questions. Some of the questions that still remain today include: Where did they come from? Who built them? Why were they built where they were? This webquest will help you and an assigned partner look at some of these questions and maybe help answer some of these questions or possibly raise more questions. It will be your job to research some of these topics, perform some mathematical analyses and share your findings with the other members of your class.



After researching the Great Pyramids, you and your partner will use the information you found to construct a scale model of the Great Pyramid, perform mathematical analyses from the data you have collected and make a short presentation using this information. You will also analyze a specific topic that is of interest to both of you.



You will work with an assigned partner to complete this project. You will be given two class periods to conduct your research on the Internet. You will be given two additional class periods to work on your individual projects. If your project takes longer to complete, you will be expected to do that work outside of class. Your presentations/reports are due at the beginning of the fifth class period.

Your projects will contain the following:

1. Mathematical analyses that include:

  • Area of the base of the Great Pyramid and the two smaller pyramids.
  • Volume of the Great Pyramid and the two smaller pyramids.
  • Lateral area of the Great Pyramid and the two smaller pyramids.
  • Ratio comparison of the Great Pyramid to the two smaller pyramids.
  • Present your mathematical analyses to the class using an overhead transparency or PowerPoint presentation (include the geometric formulas used to find your answers).

2.Construction of a scale model of the Great Pyramid using the medium of your choice. Some suggestions - poster board, paper, blocks, wood or plastic.

3. Make a short presentation about one or two facts that you and your partner found interesting (must be mathematical or scientific).

4. Compare the great pyramid to one other architectural structure standing today. Write about the comparisons in a one-page report (must contain at least three paragraphs).



Part 1 - Measurements

Hall of Records

Ancient Egyptian Monuments in Cairo

Part 2 - Construction of scale models

NOVA - Scaling the Pyramids

Part 3 - Interesting facts

NOVA - Pyramids

Part 4 - Other interesting sites and Search Engines

Links to Wonderful Ancient Egyptian Sites

The Step Pyramid Complex of Djoser

Dogpile - A multi-search engine

Webcrawler - A multi-search engine



Your project (worth 100 points) will be graded using the following components:

    1. Your use of class time.
    2. The mathematical analyses used for the project.
    3. The construction of your scale model.
    4. Your class presentation.
    5. The comparison to another architectural structure (one-page report).

Click here to view the grading rubric for your project.



Through this activity you have seen how ancient worlds used mathematics effectively. You have had the opportunity to research some of the interesting mathematical concepts that relate to the mystical world of pyramids. You have applied the mathematics that you know to build a scale model pyramid and appreciate the obstacles that the ancient Egyptians encountered. Hopefully, you will be even more fascinated with the ancient world pyramids and apply the knowledge you gained through this activity to real world problems.

Designed by Connie Shatto