Barbie Proportions – Geometry

This was a fun and engaging activity that I think the students enjoyed as well.  They really seemed to like drawing on the butcher block paper.  Most of them were truly shocked at Barbie’s proportions.  As we have all heard, her waist was very tiny.  But we were surprised to see how short her arms were, how long her legs were, or how large her eyes were in her head!  One of the most surprising finding was how small her FEET were.  They were only about 5 inches long, which puts our life-sized, 5’7″ Barbie in a size 6 shoe – a CHILD’s 6 that is!

I got all of my inspiration and materials from Kathryn and Fawn.  I let the students pick one student in their group to measure for the height comparison.  Then the students used proportions to calculate Barbie’s scaled up measurements.  After that, they traced the student on the chart paper, then traced life-sized Barbie’s measurements inside the student tracing.

Warning – it took longer for my students to draw on the chart paper than I anticipated, so leave extra time for that.  But, I would definitely not skip this part.  Calculating proportions isn’t very exciting until they realize they get to draw on giant sheets of butcher block paper!  Also, they didn’t realize how small the proportions they calculated actually were until they compared it to their own traced figures.  It brought proportionality to life!

Here are pictures of my students working today.  I really enjoyed the activity, and I hope they did as well!

Edited:  I did not have as much success with one of my classes today as the groups did not work as well together.  If I repeat this activity, I will give a grade for it so each member is held accountable and works the entire time.  Sigh.  Days like these…