Lesson 13

Draw It to Scale

Lesson Narrative

This culminating lesson is optional. Students use what they have learned in this unit to create a scale floor plan of their classroom.

The lesson is organized into three main parts:

  • Part 1: Plan and measure. Each student sketches a rough floor plan of the classroom. In groups, they decide on necessary measurements to take, plan the steps and the tools for measuring, and carry out their plan (MP1).

  • Part 2: Calculate and draw. Students select the paper to use for drawing, decide on a scale, and work individually to create their drawings. They choose their scale and method strategically, given their measurements and the constraints of their paper.

  • Part 3: Reflect and discuss. In small groups, students explain their work, discuss and compare their floor plans (MP3), and evaluate the decisions they made in creating the scale drawing (MP4). As a class, they reflect on how the choice of scale, units, and paper affected the drawing process and the floor plans created.

Depending on the instructional choices made, this lesson could take one or more class meetings. The amount of time needed for each part might vary depending on factors such as:

  • The size and complexity of the classroom, and whether measuring requires additional preparation or steps (e.g., moving furniture, taking turns, etc.).
  • What the class or individual students decide to include in the floor plans.
  • How much organizational support is given to students.
  • How student work is ultimately shared with the class (not at all, informally, or with formal presentations).

Consider further defining the scope of work for students and setting a time limit for each part of the activity to focus students’ work and optimize class time.

This activity can be modified so that students draw floor plans for different parts of the school—the cafeteria, the gym, the school grounds, and
so on—and their drawings could later be assembled as a scale floor plan of the school. If this version is chosen, coordinate the scale used by all students before they begin to draw.

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Compare, contrast, and critique (orally) scale drawings of the classroom.
  • Generate an appropriate scale to represent an actual distance on a limited drawing size, and explain (orally) the reasoning.
  • Make simplifying assumptions and determine what information is needed to create a scale drawing of the classroom.

Student Facing

Let’s draw a floor plan.

Required Preparation

Make any available linear measuring tools available, which might include rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and tape measures, in centimeters and inches.

Prepare at least three different types of paper for each group, which could include:

  • \(8\frac12 \times 11\) printer paper
  • \(11 \times 17\) printer paper
  • centimeter graph paper
  • \(\frac14\)-inch graph paper
  • \(\frac15\)-inch graph paper

Learning Targets

Student Facing

  • I can create a scale drawing of my classroom.
  • When given requirements on drawing size, I can choose an appropriate scale to represent an actual object.

CCSS Standards


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