This lesson, and the other lessons in this unit, use the Isometric Drawing Tool. Before using this lesson with your students, be sure to familiarize yourself with this tool and all of its features.
To begin this lesson, ask students if they are familiar with
isometric grids or isometric dot paper. (Some students may have also
heard this paper referred to as "hexagonal grid paper.") If some
students know what this paper is, allow them to share with their
classmates. Then, ask when the paper is used. Students may express that
the paper is used to draw three-dimensional objects, such as cubes.
Distribute a sheet of Isometric Dot Paper
to each student, and place a transparency of one of these sheets on the
overhead projector. Show students how this paper can be used to draw a
cube by connecting some of the dots. (You may also want to shade one or
two of the sides, to add perspective.) Ask students to create an object
of their own by connecting some of the dots on their own. Tell them
that their drawing should not just randomly connect dots; instead, it
should represent a 3‑D object that could be built.
Tell students to open the Isometric Drawing Tool
on their computers. For this lesson, students should work individually.
(Alternatively, pair students so that they may share a computer;
however, putting students into groups of three or more may impede
student learning and should be avoided, if possible.)
Allow students time to explore the various features of the
drawing tool. Give them a chance to practice building shapes. Encourage
students to experiment with the various features and read through the
Instructions. (In fact, you may wish to print the instructions, display
them on the overhead projector, and walk students through the features
of the tool step-by-step.)
Once students have become familiar with the tool, ask them to
create the following figure on their screens. (Give them the following
hint: Build the figure from front to back and from top to bottom, to
assure proper alignment of the cubes.) It is important to tell students
that the figure consists of eight red cubes below two blue cubes.
When all students have built this figure, have them press the View button (the "eye").|
This will open a separate window that allows students to rotate
the figure in three dimensions. (Note that this new window may appear
hidden below the current browser window, and therefore may not be
visible to students. Students can bring the View window to the front by
clicking on the icon in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen; or,
they can minimize all of the other windows that are currently open.)
The best way to deal with the View window, however, is to
reduce the size of the window in which the Isometric Drawing Tool
appears. Then, place the View window to the right of the Isometric
Drawing Tool window. This will allow students to work with both views
visible simultaneously. When the windows are appropriately resized,
students' computer screens should look something like this:
To ensure that all students understand how the tool works, ask them to build a figure that meets the follow requirements:
- The figure must have more than five cubes.
- Use at least two different colors.
- Some cubes should be hidden behind or below other cubes.
Allow students time to create their three-dimensional figures. Once
they have completed their constructions, they can compare their figures
with those of the students near them. There should be multiple
solutions based on the requirements, and this is a good time for
students to share their ideas with the class.
Students should practice moving the cubes around so they can
count all of the cubes used to create the three-dimensional figure,
especially those that are stacked or hidden. This can be done by using
the Arrow to select and drag some cubes; alternatively, students can use the Unit Movement buttons:
Unit Movement Buttons
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As a task for students, require them to move the figures back to
their original positions. That is, have them use the Unit Movement
buttons to practice aligning the cubes. (As students proceed through
this activity, they may become frustrated. To alleviate this
frustration, require them to have the View window open side-by-side
with the Isometric Drawing Tool; that way, they will be able to see the
exact result of each move.)
If time permits, students may create additional shapes. Or, if
students master the Isometric Drawing Tool quickly, you might consider
moving directly to the next lesson in this unit.
Questions for Students
1. What is one set of Rotation Control features that rotates the shape to another isometric view?
[X-Y Rotation, Y-Z Rotation, or X-Z Rotation.]
2. What features of isometric drawings did you use to decide the object had been sufficiently rotated?
[The values of each of the rotation control features indicate how far the object had been rotated. 3. Additionally, students can determine the proper rotation by inspection; that is, if they can see what they need to see, then the figure has been sufficiently rotated.]