Clinometer Project (Day 2 of 2)

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SWBAT use trigonometric ratios to solve real-world problems.

Big Idea

Using clinometers and their trig knowledge, students measure really tall objects around campus.

Taking it Outside

45 minutes

Supplies Needed: meter stick and clinometer

The groundwork for this lesson was laid in Day 1. Today, students should be ready to head outside and start measuring inaccessible objects. Each student should still have their Clinometer Project and Homework 4 packet to guide their work.

Today, I ask my students to measure the height of 3 objects of their choice around campus. Students measured things like the height of different buildings, the flagpole, lampposts, and trees. The measurement of these three objects offers students some freedom and some time to practice. Then, I gave all of the students one specific assigned object. This year, it was the bell tower which is a well-known and popular place on campus. Then, I assess all of the students' work on their measurement of the bell tower.


5 minutes

As we wrap-up to today’s lesson, I will have students gather around so that I can gather all of my supplies and debrief the activity. I break down the clinometers and have my students reconstruct them every year as I think that is part of the fun.

There are a number of good ways to bring closure to this lesson. Today, I will talk with students about the following question prompts:

  • What did you like about this activity?
  • What didn't you like?
  • Where do you imagine this could be used in real life?
  • What type of mistakes do you need to work to avoid?
  • What did you learn from the work?

My students really want to know the bell tower height. So, I give them the answer and we talk about some reasonable measurements. (See the Solving Real World Problems reflection for more information about this discussion.)



Students should complete the reflection and practice problems in Clinometer Project and Homework 4 for homework. This is homework #4 for the unit.