March 5, 2012

Miniatures in Proportion

I started doing this project back when I taught pre-algebra, but it's such fun that I continue to use it in my lower geometry class to review solving proportions before we get into similarity.  My co-teacher and I scour our homes for miniature objects and end up with a pile of stuffed animals, toy cars, model trains, keychains etc.  Students get to pick any object that they want to measure.  Then, using just one dimension of the 'real life' object they have to calculate the other dimensions by assuming their miniature is proportional to the real thing.  I started with slide 3, then when most people had several measurements I went through the example.

This year I happened to have the laptops in my room during the project, so we had them look up the 'real life' dimension (in the past I've just provided it on an index card).  This allowed us to discuss what a reputable website was.  I was disappointed to discover that my sophomores don't all know how to scan a google search and pick a good resource, but it did make me glad that my co-teacher had suggested including this step!  The journal question at the end of class asked "How can you tell if a website is reputable?" and I've gotten some interesting responses.  They vary from "if the website name isn't goofy" to "if you check the information with several sources" to "why would anyone post fake information about a fish?!"  Internet research may be a topic we need to discuss again.  That or I tell their history teacher to take care of it ;).

1 comment:

  1. What a cool activity. It reminds me of a book I ran into recently: Big and Little by Steve Jenkins--a picture book of animals all drawn to the same scale (1:8). Bringing in miniatures is way more fun than showing a book, but I thought you might enjoy it anyway.