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Geometry and Measurement of the World's Most Famous Structures

Subject Area: Mathematics

Grade Level(s): 8

Duration of Activity: 2-3 days

Description of Activity:

This lesson is designed to create awareness in students about how geometry is used in the everyday world in which they live. The student will learn how to find and investigate Web sites for specific information. This lesson is designed to integrate social studies and technology into mathematics classrooms and to show students how to do research on the World Wide Web. The student will use the Web sites and links of well-known structures to locate the answers to specific questions related to polygons and other geometric shapes of 3-dimensional objects, measurement of the buildings, and formulas used to figure the dimensions of these structures. Students may work in pairs or in small, cooperative groups to answer Handout 1: Web Search for the World's Most Famous Structures.

Objectives: The student will

  • research selected sites on the World Wide Web.
  • identify polygons and other geometric shapes.
  • learn about three-dimensional figures.
  • develop an understanding about how measurement formulas are used in the world outside the classroom.
  • compose a paragraph to demonstrate an understanding of geometric shapes and measurements.

Materials/Equipment:

  • Computers
  • Access to the World Wide Web
  • Word-processing software
  • Handout 1: Web Search for the World's Most Famous Structures

Prerequisites (skills or background needed):

  • Basic knowledge of computers
  • Basic knowledge of locating sites on the World Wide Web
  • Understanding formulas used to show the measurement for area and volume of a geometric shape
  • Knowledge of basic polygonal and other geometric shapes

Procedure

Teacher Component: The teacher will

  1. tell the students that geometric shapes and mathematical formulas are used to find area and volume measures for buildings in the world outside the classroom.
  2. review polygons and other geometric shapes if necessary.
  3. tell the students to search and investigate the Web sites listed under the Student Activities section of this lesson to complete the answers on Handout 1: Web Search for the World's Most Famous Structures.
  4. instruct the students to select one of the structures visited in their Web searches and compose a paragraph demonstrating an understanding of how this structure is representative of the two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes, formulas, and mathematical measurements used in the world outside the classroom.

Student Activities: The student will

  1. visit the Web sites (a) The Great Building Collection, http://www.greatbuildings.com and (b) The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/, and use the information found on these sites to answer the questions on Handout 1. Links to specific structures can be found using the following URLs:
  2. The student will select one of the structures and write a paragraph about to demonstrate an understanding of the two and three-dimensional geometric shapes, formulas, and measurement in the real world.

Accommodations:

  • Students who experience difficulty completing the assignment will work with a peer helper to locate Web sites and to find information on the Web.

Extension Activities:

  • The student will select one of the structures researched to create a scale model for a formal presentation to the class.
  • The student will present a PowerPoint presentation on the geometric facts describing one of the structures researched on the Web as part of this lesson.
  • Using Microsoft Access or other appropriate software, students will work in cooperative groups to create a database of information about the buildings researched in this lesson. They can list information such as the height of each structure, the year it was constructed, the city and country or city and state where each building is located. This database can be added to from year to year as other structures are researched, and the information in the database can be used to create math problems similar to those in this lesson.

  • Using Microsoft Excel or other appropriate software, students will create a database of facts about buildings in their own community, listing information such as geometric shape, dimensions, and year constructed. This database can be added to from year to year and the information used to create math problems similar to the ones in this lesson.

Integration:

  • Social Studies
  • Technology
  • Language Arts

Assessments:

  1. Handout 1: Web Search for the World's Most Famous Buildings
  2. Teacher observation
  3. Written paragraph on one of the three-dimensional structures researched

URLs:

Curriculum Frameworks

Mississippi:

Eighth Grade

  1. Convert and use standard units (English and metric) of measurement.
    1. Write and solve real-life problems involving standard measurements.
    2. Select appropriate units of measurement for real-life problems.

  2. Apply geometric principles to polygons, angles, and two and three-dimensional figures.
    1. Identify and describe characteristics of polygons
    2. Find the perimeter and area of polygons and circumference and area of circles.
    3. Classify triangles by sides and angles.
    4. Identify three-dimensional figures and describe their faces, vertices, and edges.

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS):

  1. Use content-specific tools, software, and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory experiments, Web tools) to support learning and research. (3, 5)
  2. Select and use appropriate tools and technology to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems. (5,6)
  3. Research and evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and bias of electronic information sources concerning real-world problems. (2,5,6)

TerraNova:

13 Measurement (Level 10-21/22)
Demonstrate an understanding of measurement systems, units, and tools by describing, calculating, or estimating size, location, and time; by using the concepts of perimeter, area, volume, capacity, weight, and mass; and by identifying appropriate degrees of accuracy. Solve problems involving principles of measurement, rate, and scale.

Use manipulatives to explore shapes, area, and perimeter; and to model and represent measurement problems.
Describe measurement processes, compare techniques, estimate, and communicate estimation strategies.

14 Geometry and Spatial Sense (Level 10-21/22)
Demonstrate spatial sense and an understanding of geometry by visualizing and identifying two- and three-dimensional objects, classifying shapes, recognizing symmetry, using transformations, applying geometric formulas, and evaluating properties of geometric figures.

Use manipulative shapes to explore spatial relationships, patterns, and model geometric problems.

15 Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability (Level 10-21/22)
Analyze, interpret, and evaluate data in various forms; and apply the concepts and processes of data analysis, statistics, and probability to real-world situations.

Represent and interpret data, model probability situations, describe trends, and evaluate or construct arguments based on data.

Link and Feedback to Author(s):

Charlotte Moore, Booneville Middle School, Booneville, MS
cmoore@booneville.k12.ms.us

Handout 1:
Web Search for the World's Most Famous Structures
Word Acrobat
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