Re-arranging SOHCAHTOA

'Understand all the things that are true about a given diagram, choose the right one and re-arrange it to suit you!'

Once you know about SOHCAHTOA the next challenge is to find out how to apply it to different problems. After some practice it gets easier to figure out if you need Sin, Cos or Tan, but in the beginning it can be difficult. In any case, you can always make a statement/equation involving each of them. When you have done that you can see which is the most useful for solving the problem you have. Once you have done that, you need to re-arrange the equation to suit your purposes. Frustratingly, with all the trigonometry done, this can be the more difficult bit! It shouldn't be though and this activity hopes to help remember the nature of this relationship between three variables. 


The first part of the activity involves the  Making Statements worksheet. The second involves the  Re-arranging SOHCAHTOA presentation which students are to re-arrange! Students can do this on their own computers or it can be done from a central computer as a whole class activity.

Making Statements

Below is the task for making statements.

Rearranging SOHCAHTOA


Here is a brief outline of the task.

  • Students can do this on their own computers or it can be done from a central computer as a whole class activity.
  • Students are given the 'Making Statements' task in which they are invited to write down equations that can model any of the variables in the diagram.
  • Students need access to computers to open the 'Re-arranging SOHCAHTOA', where they are invited to move the objects on each slide around to express relations in different ways.

I did it my way!

As a practising maths teacher I know that most us like to give activities our own little twist and do them 'our way'. It would be great to add a little collection of 'twists' from users. You can either add your twist to the comments section below or e-mail them directly to me at In time some of these twists may appear here....

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