Education
Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 30-59 mins
• Maths

# How to work out scale

## Scaling activity to change the size of items

In this engaging activity, learners will discover how to work out the scale of an object and how to scale these objects up and down. By doubling or halving the size, students can redraw objects to an entirely new scale. Throughout this process, they will realise that multiplication and division are powerful tools to alter an item’s scale.

This hands-on experience promises to ignite students’ creativity and foster a deeper comprehension of proportions and fundamental arithmetic operations.

### Activity introduction

This resource is part of a set of STEM resources developed to support teaching the primary national curriculum. Its primary focus is to aid in delivering key topics within mathematics and science. Specifically, this resource delves into the intriguing realm of multiplication and division when scaling an item, doubling, or halving its size.

In this context, scale refers to the proportional representation of an object or drawing compared to its full-size counterpart. This concept finds extensive use in engineering drawings, where a smaller sketch can effectively represent a much larger object. For instance, the drawings are intelligently scaled down to a more convenient size when designing a house. After all, having design drawings the same size as the house would be impractical!

Throughout this resource, learners will gain valuable insights into solving problems related to scale factors using proportion as measured by a scaled-up or scaled-down drawing. The exploration of mathematical knowledge in this context opens up a world of possibilities in understanding how objects can be transformed while maintaining their proportional relationships.

This activity could be done as individuals or in pairs.

### How long will this activity take?

This activity will take approximately 40-60 minutes to complete. The worksheet below contains a grid that enables students to copy and scale a drawing.

### The engineering context

Structural engineers collaborate with architects to design various structures, such as houses, hospitals, office blocks, bridges, oil rigs, ships, and aircraft. They create scaled-down drawings for each of these structures.

### Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity, students will know how multiplication and division can be used to work out scale, they will be able to scale drawings back to their original size by either scaling up or scaling down, and they will be able to solve simple problems in scaling contexts, i.e. two times larger and two times smaller.