Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Scale drawing and estate agents details

The perfect lesson (how to teach scale drawing)

scale drawing
As a young teacher I thought I had delivered the perfect lesson on scale drawing. I set the appropriate exercise and expected the pupils to enthusiastically tackle the tasks, applying their new found knowledge. What could go wrong? The folly of youth. Immediately a hand went up asking for help. 'What's the problem?' I enquired. 'You can't do this one' said the indignant pupil. The question involved working out the actual length a real car given the length of a toy car and the scale to which it was built. 'Why not?' I asked rather bemused. 'They haven't even told you what make of car it is. how can you possibly do it?' So much for the perfect lesson.

Scale drawing

Teaching and learning how to use scale drawings is not easy. If anyone buys a house or flat in the UK they are confronted by estate agent details which have scale drawings attached to them. It is useful if not imperative to interpret these drawings. This gave me an idea, why not use the details as a basis for lessons? I collected a number of flyers from various estate agents which all had the appropriate drawings, it is also possible to print them off from the Internet.  They were to form the foundation for my scale drawing lessons. If you are going to do this make sure you get a variety of price ranges and sizes of house.

The viewings

Task 1. After an initial lesson on scale drawing I handed out the flyers to pairs of pupils who had to work together. They were asked to measure the drawings, which also have the actual size on them and work out the scale. (If any of the sheets have the scale on remove it).
Task 2. Next they had to work the total area of the property, a great way to practice finding area.
Task 3. Given the price they had to work out the cost of what a square metre of the property costs.
Task 4. I informed the class that they are allowed to extend the property by 10% of the floor space. What would this work out to?
Task 5. They had to copy the scale drawing into their books and add the extension, which had to be 10%, or less of the original floor space. The extension had to be drawn to scale.

Second viewings

The above usually takes about a lesson. For  follow up lesson I hand out more details, make sure they do not get the same as before. They now have to repeat tasks 1 to 5 again.. It is useful to try and get details of properties from areas of differing values. A flat in Poole, Dorset, the fourth most expensive place to live in the world according to a Sunday newspaper compared to a family home in North East of England. Do this and a lot of discussion will arise. You could pose questions like 'which provides the best value for money?' 'Why do these differences occur?' There is a lot of maths that can be extracted from estate agents details, well worth an immediate inspection I would say.

Happy house hunting.

If you liked this idea try using paper airplanes! Click the link below.

A great book where Mathematics is applied to everyday activities is

One reviewer said 
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Amazon has a copy for only £4.79! 

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