assess students' prior knowledge, have the students brainstorm ideas
about where they might use a scale to enlarge or reduce the size of
something. List these ideas on the board or on an overhead projector.
To begin the lesson, give the students a copy of their state
map and have them locate the legend. Maps of individual states are
available at Maps of the United States. Another site is located here. Alternatively, students can find their own state map.
Give pairs of students a ruler and have them figure out distances between given cities. Use the Teacher Resource Sheet, Map activity sheet, as a guideline to creating your own worksheet.
Students should use the map's scale to complete information
about the miles and the inches. Work with the students on setting up
proportions to compute unknown distances using their scale factors. Be
sure that when the students are setting up the proportions, they do
actual distances over each other, and the scale distances over each
other (the scale distances or one of the actual distances will be
represented by x). Once the proportions are set up, the students can simply solve for x in their proportions.