Artitects in Action - Lesson Plan for Scale and Ratio

This is a detailed lesson plan on teaching students scale, scale factor, and ratios.  The plan uses real-life situations to teach using a map of the U.S.  It includes an activity for the students as well as discussion questions and extentions of the lesson.  It incorporates a take home activity too.   Also included is a way to evaluate students' learning.  It has a suggested reading list and needed vocabulary. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
GLE 0301.3.3
Know and apply the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, and publishing.
GLE 0706.4.3
Understand and use scale factor to describe the relationships between length, area, and volume.
GLE 0706.4.4
Understand and use ratios, derived quantities, and indirect measurements.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • understand that ratios are used to create scale models of buildings and structures;
  • understand the principles of ratio and apply these principles in the solution of problems; and
  • understand how to calculate scale using ratio.
Essential and guiding questions: 

Using what you have learned about ratios, proportions, and scale models, create four word problems for other students in your class to solve. For example: A square carpet measures 8 feet ? 4 feet. Suppose the scale of a drawing containing the carpet is 1 foot to 1/4 inch. What are the dimensions of the carpet in the drawing? The answer: 2 inches ? 1 inch.

Is it possible to draw scale models that are completely accurate? Why is accuracy important in the creation of maps, blueprints, and other scale models?

Compare your classroom floor plan to that of another student. How are they similar and different? Which would be more useful to a construction worker trying to build a classroom in a new school? Why?

List other instances in which you use ratio to compare objects in your daily life. Why is it important to maintain the same scale for each measurement you record when making your model?

Debate the merits of using the metric system and the English system to measure lengths. Explain how to convert between the two systems.

Compare your classroom to a nearby classroom using scale models of each. Explain how you could use estimation to create a scale model. Would the model be more or less accurate?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Materials needed:

  • 0.25-inch graph paper
  • map(s) of the United States
  • pencils
  • ruler (metric or inches)
  • tape measure
  • Take-Home Activity Sheet: Home Measurements