How Many Clones of You…

How Many PictureLearning Objective: To develop a method for estimating height.

A fun endeavor for sightseers is to take a picture in front of a large structure to put into perspective how large or small it is compared to their size. This type of comparison introduces the concept of scale which often becomes easier for children to understand as they developmentally progress in their thinking.

Civil engineers use the concept of scale as they create maps and diagrams for designing large buildings, roadways and more.

Try this activity to explore scale. Have children take a picture standing next to a tall structure. Some examples are school buildings, houses, and large trees. Make sure that someone captures the entire individual and structure in the photo. The taller the structure, the better.

Print copies of the pictures on black and white or on photo paper. Alternatively, allow the learners to view the image on their screens. Have them estimate how many clones of themselves standing on top of each other are needed to be level with the top of the structure.

There are various approaches to solving this problem. Give the children an opportunity to devise their own method, to write about it and/or create a presentation on their approach.

As an extension activity, have older students use their knowledge of their own height to determine an actual value estimation of their tall structure. This activity would be fun to do in teams, with the winners being the group that comes closest to the actual value.

So then…approximately how many times larger than the tree is the man in the diagram above? If the man is 6 feet tall, how tall is the tree? What was your approach?


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