Reflection: Student Ownership Mickey Mouse Proportions - Section 2: Warm up


I had planned this as a fun activity for our school's "disney day" spirit celebration. What I had not anticipated was how much proportional language my students engaged in as they were working. I only realized it after observing the lesson in another teacher's class and I didn't get a chance to capitalize on it in my class. 

As I circulated in my colleagues room I  noticed students erasing part of their drawing. At first I didn't notice this as an opportunity until one of them said "my ears are too small". At that moment I realized they were noticing proportion! I also realized I had missed an opportunity in my own class.

After conferring with my colleague we told the student that she had noticed something really important mathematically and asked if we could share it with the class. We put her picture under the document camera and asked the class what they thought. They immediately concluded "the ears are too small." 

When we asked them to discuss how they could tell they responded with:

  • "they need to be bigger to match with the head"
  • "they're too small compared to the head"
  • "they need to be like closer to half of the head"

 In one class my colleague and I followed up with: "Would the ears match another head?" to which students responded with:

  • "the head would have to shrink down a little bit"
  • "If the head was half the size"
  • "yes, the ears would make the same amount of the picture"
  • "the ears would fit on a smaller Mickey"

In another class we asked: "So, how might we explain to someone who is blind that the ears match the head?" In response to this question students started thinking a little more mathematically and proposing conjectures that might have been worthwhile to explore as a class:

  • "if the head is doubled, the ears have to double; or if it's 3 times bigger the ears have to be 3 times bigger"
  • "they have to grow by the same amount

After asking for clarification of what was meant mathematically by "grow by the same amount" students explored cases of multiplying by and adding the same amount which served to emphasize multiplicative thinking.

  Developing the language of proportion
  Student Ownership: Developing the language of proportion
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Mickey Mouse Proportions

Unit 5: Writing and comparing ratios
Lesson 14 of 14

Objective: SWBAT use ratio and proportion to draw a Mickey Mouse face.

Big Idea: Students develop a concept of proportion visually.

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3 teachers like this lesson
Math, Vocabulary and Concept Development, Number Sense and Operations, proportions in art, proportional changes, spirit day, ratios, pattern
  54 minutes
mickey wall 2
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