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The Fourth Quadrant of Proportiona

By Neme Alperstein
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Grade Level
Time Alloment
 45 Minutes


This lesson teaches students the importance of size and scale when trying to draw either a smaller or larger versions of people, places or things. In Cyberchase episode 124, "Size Me Up," the kids find themselves first in a world of giants, and then in a world where they're the giants. Using brainpower and problem solving skills, the kids calculate the scale and determine the size of the world around them in order to escape and save Motherboard. Through their adventures the kids demonstrate applications of size and scale. By viewing segments of this episode, and by logging on to an activity on the Cyberchase Web site, students will develop and understanding of scale and its applications to real-world problems.

Learning Activities

Students will be able to:
  • develop a strategy to determine size when creating a model;
  • determine the scale of an object for a solution to math problems;
  • evaluate the role proportion plays in measuring real life structures.


From the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards for grades K-12, available online at:

Geometry and Algebra in Grades 3-5:
  • explore congruence and similarity;
  • make and test conjectures about geometric properties and relationships and develop logical arguments to justify conclusions;
  • use geometric models to solve problems in other areas of mathematics, such as number and measurement;
  • recognize geometric ideas and relationships and apply them to other disciplines and to problems that arise in the classroom or in everyday life;
  • investigate how a change in one variable relates to a change in a second variable;
  • identify and describe situations with constant or varying rates of change and compare them.

Media Components


Cyberchase #124: Size Me Up

Web sites:

Cyberchase: Size and Scale
This site challenges children to assemble pieces of a jigsaw puzzle after they have scaled each piece to the right size in order to fit. Sizing choices include increasing or decreasing the size of each piece before the puzzle can be completed.


For the class:
  • Child's sneaker or shoe
  • A piece of string about 6 feet long
  • Overhead projector
  • Transparency of Digit the Cyberbird (image for transparency included)
  • A photograph of the class
For each student:
  • Ruler - with both centimeters and inches scales
  • Paper and crayons or colored pencils
  • Construction paper, white paper, pencils
  • Pair of scissors