Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Janis, a student:

How do you calculate the area of a kite with the diagonals 24cm and 48cm?

Hi Janis,

Your kite separates into four right triangles with sides x and y, x and 48-y, y and 24-x, and 48-y and 24-x. Compute the areas of each of the four triangles and then add the four together. (If you are not good at working with unknowns, try calculating a few examples by replacing x and y with numbers that are easy to work with. You should compare the answers for several examples and note the pattern.)



Another approach is to separate the kite into triangles as Chris described and then rearrange the triangles to form a rectangle.



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