Scale drawing is a way for designers to communicate with contractors when building a structure. In order to teach the ability to draw objects to scale, you should introduce the concepts and give students practice projects. Start out with two-dimensional projects, then move on to three-dimensional models.
To teach about the concept of drawing objects to scale, start off with two-dimensional drawings of simple objects. Try having students enlarge a candy wrapper. Cut it into 1/4-inch grids, then give each student a 1-inch square numbered on the back. Have the students recreate their piece of wrapper onto their square, multiplying every dimension by four. Then take all of the completed squares and arrange them based on the numbers on the back. If everything goes correctly, you should have a perfect replica of the candy wrapper at four times the size of the original. Award points based on accuracy. For fun, give the student with the best drawing an actual bar of the candy you enlarged.
Work of Art
Take a large mural and laminate it. Take another copy of the mural and cut it into 1-inch squares. Have the students reduce the mural into 1/4-inch grids. They should then recreate the mural using paint at a quarter of the size. Take a large poster board and position the completed squares on the poster board in order. Laminate the poster board and hang it in a public area next to the original mural. Post your students' names next to the completed art and award the project out of 100 points. Seventy points should be awarded for how well the directions were followed; give 30 points for accuracy, difficulty and neatness.
Once you explain the concepts of drawing items to scale, bring in a model roller coaster set for each student and have them draw a design for a track. After they finish and turn them in, have them begin building their designs from their drawings. Test the strength of their designs by attempting to run a model roller coaster through the track. Award points for complexity and strength of the structure. The student whose track is the best should be awarded either with treats or extra credit.
The Great Pyramid
A great way to show scale is to calculate models of the Great Pyramid. This requires a 3,000 times scale reduction. The other pyramids can be scaled down based on the model of the Great Pyramid that can be constructed with 4.9 centimeters of paper. Have your students take the dimensions of the Menkaure and Khafre pyramids and build a scale model to place on a miniature model of Egypt's Giza Plateau. Award points for accuracy and creativity.
- pyramids image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com