When did your math class involve comic books and cartoons? Leigh Bybee’s 7th grade math students have started their unit on proportions and Tweety Bird, Eeyore and Porky Pig were some of the cast of characters on hand.
Students spent two weeks studying proportional relationships (ratios, proportions, similar figures, scale drawings, indirect measurement). As a culminating project, they were challenged to take a small picture and enlarge it so that the larger picture is an accurate scale drawings of the smaller. Students chose their own comics, gridded them and created a similar grid on poster board. In addition to the poster, students answered reflection questions that asked them to explain ideas such as the meaning of their scale/ scale factor and proving visually and mathematically that their poster was proportional to their comic. The great thing about this assignment was that you didn’t have to be an artist to come up with a spectacular drawing. It was all based on math and proportions.
“Students were determined to choose comics that they would be capable of replicating, focused on ensuring that their drawings were proportional to the comic, and dedicated to understanding the reflection questions. This actually evolved into a community-building activity as students acted as peer-editors of their classmates’ drawings and encouraged one another to do their best work,” said Mrs. Bybee.