A Matter of Proportion
Lesson plan based on Mosaic Floor
Measure the relative heights of the mosaic giraffe and its trainer and compare their proportions to an actual giraffe and zoo trainer.
Skills and Focus: Measuring, Calculation
Subject Area: Mathematics
Thematic Connection: Counting and Calculating
Grade Level: Secondary School
Time Needed: 90 minutes
Objectives
• Measure the relative heights of the mosaic giraffe and its trainer and compare their proportions to an actual giraffe and zoo trainer.
Instructional Materials Needed
Lincoln Park Zoo
Mosaic
Rulers
Activity
Step 1: Distribute copies of the mosaic floor. Ask students to measure its height and width along with the height of the trainer and giraffe. Have students calculate the ration of the trainer’s height to that of the giraffe.
Step 2: Distribute the Lincoln Park Zoo Giraffe Fact Sheet. Ask students the following questions:
• According to the fact sheet, how tall is an average giraffe?
• How tall is an average person?
• What is the ratio of a person’s height to that of a giraffe?
• Are the mosaic giraffe and trainer represented in their proper proportions? How should the mosaic figures be changed?
Step 3: Tell students that each stone chip in the mosaic is approximately 0.4 cm on each side. Given this measurement, how much stone was needed (in kg) to make the mosaic? Assume that the stone weighs 2700kg/m3.
Goals
This activity meets Illinois State Goal 6: Demonstrate and apply a knowledge and sense of numbers, including basic arithmetic operations, number patterns, ratios, and proportions.
This activity meets Illinois State Goal 7: Estimate, make, and use measurements of objects, quantities, and relationships and determine acceptable levels of accuracy.
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