How can Scale and Size change?

The Basic Idea

In an activity reminiscent of a Neil Buchanan, the children explore the outline of a shape (this could range from a square or a rectangle to a seating plan of their classroom), scale it up and make it outside!

In more detail..

Choose a shape that is suitable for the children’s age and ability.

The children will be given a scale ratio to which they have to enlarge the original shape. The calculations could be done in class by groups and then created outside, or class could work together, with a larger scale and work through the different scaled up measurements together. There are also scale calculators online that can be used to cheat!

Once the calculations have been made, the children then go outside and create the scaled up versions. Cones can be used to mark lines, skipping ropes, flags etc. Depending on the shape that you have decided to make with the class, angles will have to be considered.

“If we are scaling up the lengths, do we need to scale up the angles too?”

Drawing angles on a larger scale has been investigated and outlined in the ‘Degrees of separation’ activity- this activity would follow on nicely and certainly allow the children to complete more complex shapes with a variety of angles.

Once the shape has been drawn, a great opportunity for photos of the original shapes taken next to their scaled up versions arises!


How to take it even further or make it more challenging

Help younger children remember the properties of 2d shapes… Could Year 6 children be given the task of creating giant 2d shapes and then younger children explore these – running around counting sides, angles…