I used to dread teaching conics but introducing these fun conic sections activities into my math classroom has made all of the difference. Read on to find hands-on and engaging ways to teach conic sections to your students.
My first experience teaching conic sections was during my first year of teaching. I was teaching Algebra 2, and I can vividly remember arranging my units during the school year so that conics came last because I was not looking forward to teaching conic sections.
I was always an excellent math student in high school. Usually, math came pretty easily to me, but the first time I ever remember having to study and work hard at math was Algebra 2. Matrices and Conic Sections were the topics that really taught me how to study and practice math.
As a first-year teacher, I was not looking forward to teaching this topic that I had found so difficult to understand and master as a student. Then, I discovered Cindy Johnson’s amazing Conic Cards.
I did exactly what she said to do every day for eight days, and by the end of our conics unit my students were declaring that conic sections were their favorite topic of the entire school year.
Over the years, I have taught conic sections to hundreds of other students in Algebra 2 and now Pre-Calculus since Oklahoma removed conics from the Algebra 2 curriculum. I still love and use Conic Cards, but I have added a number of other fun activities for teaching conic sections to my teaching toolbox.
Hopefully you can find an activity that will make your students love circles, hyperbolas, ellipses, and parabolas as much as my students do!
13 Fun Conic Sections Activities
Using Conic Cards to Teach Conic Sections in 8 Days
If you teach conic sections as part of Algebra 2 or Pre-Calculus, I am about to share a life-changing teaching method for you called Conic Cards. Conic Cards are the creation of Cindy Johnson, a National Board Certified Teacher in Oklahoma.
Conic Sections Foldable
I want to share a conic sections foldable I created with you today. If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you probably can tell that I’m a conic section convert. I’m a conic section hater turned a conic section lover.
Folding Conic Sections Project
I decided to use this folding conic sections project to kick off our conics unit in Pre-Calculus. Over the last few years, I have learned how to create parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas using paper folding.
Wax Paper Parabolas
I’m excited to introduce you to wax paper parabolas! Students loved making the parabolas, labeling them with the appropriate vocabulary, and gluing the result in their interactive notebooks.
Classifying Conic Sections Flow Chart
The main change I’ve made to my Algebra 2 conic sections unit this year is to introduce a classifying conic sections flow chart that I got from Rebecka Peterson.
Conics Patty Paper Poster Project
I took the conic sections that my students made during our folding conics project and had students turn them into a poster project
Conic Sections Foldables and Graphic Organizers
Today I’m sharing our conic sections foldables and graphic organizers that we glued in our interactive notebooks in Algebra 2. I’m so sad to be finished with conics. I just love them that much. Conic cards are a huge reason why I like this unit so much.
Sidewalk Chalk Hyperbolas Activity
This fun sidewalk chalk activity got my students outside and gave them plenty of practice graphing hyperbolas during our conics unit.
Building a Cone to Visualize Conic Sections
I love teaching conic sections, so I was super-excited to discover a set of instructions online for building a cone to help students visualize the four different types of conic sections. This made the perfect addition to our last unit of the year in Pre-Calculus – conics!
Conic Sections Foldables and Interactive Notebook Pages
I had my Algebra 2 students create their own conic sections foldables, and I can’t wait to share the results with you!
More Activities for Teaching Conic Sections
- Fun Conic Sections Activities
- Conics Patty Paper Poster Project
- Folding Conic Sections Project
- Building a Cone to Visualize Conic Sections
- Paper Folding a Hyperbola
- Paper Folding an Ellipse
- Hands-On Archaeology Geometry Activity
- Conic Sections Foldable
- Sidewalk Chalk Hyperbolas Activity
- Conic Sections Foldables and Graphic Organizers
- Classifying Conic Sections Flow Chart
- Wax Paper Parabolas
- Conic Sections Foldables and Interactive Notebook Pages
- Using Conic Cards to Teach Conic Sections in 8 Days
- Hands-On Circumference Activity