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Ever wondered how to teach dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings in an engaging way to your 7th and 8th grade math students?

In this lesson plan, students will learn about dilations, scale factors, scale drawings, and their real-life applications. Through artistic and interactive guided notes, check for understanding, practice worksheets, and self-checking pixel art activities, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of these mathematical concepts.

The lesson begins with guided notes that introduce the concepts of dilatations, scale factors, scale drawings, and similar figures. The notes include embedded checks for understanding, practice worksheets to reinforce the concepts, and a real-life application of math.

Following the guided notes, students will engage in self-checking pixel art activities on Google Sheets. These activities provide immediate feedback, with incorrect answers staying red and correct answers turning green to reveal a mystery picture. This interactive and creative approach helps students practice dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings while having fun.

The lesson culminates with a real-life example that explores how dilations and scale drawings are applied in the real world. This application helps students see the relevance and practicality of the mathematical concepts they have learned.

By the end of this lesson plan, students will have a solid understanding of dilations, scale factors, scale drawings, and similar figures. They will be able to apply these concepts to solve problems and recognize their importance in various real-life situations.

- Standards: CCSS 7.G.A.1, CCSS 8.G.A.3
- Grades: 7th Grade, 8th Grade
- Type: Lesson Plans

$4.25

After this lesson, students will be able to:

Define dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings

Identify and label similar figures

Calculate scale factors using ratios

Create scale drawings using given scale factors

Explain how dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings are used in real life

Before this lesson, students should be familiar with:

Basic geometric concepts such as graphing on coordinate planes

Knowledge of basic multiplication and division skills

Basic understanding of fractions and decimals (optional, but helpful)

Pencils

Colored pencils or markers

Dilations

Scale factors

Scale drawings

Similar figures

Transformations

As a hook, ask students why understanding dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings is important in real life. Refer to the last page of the guided notes for ideas.

Use the first page of the guided notes to introduce dilations and scale factors. Walk through the key points of these topics to teach, such as explaining what dilation is and how scale factors relate to dilations. Then, have students fill in the guided notes portion stating what happens when the scale factor is less than 1 (reduction), equal to 1 (no change) and more than 1 (enlargement). Allow students to color & have some fun as they take notes!

Then, move to the bottom portion of the first page of the guided notes and model how to find dilated coordinates, as well as graphing dilated figures. Based on student responses, reteach concepts that students need extra help with. If your class has a wide range of proficiency levels, you can pull out students for reteaching. Have students fill out the fun fact portion of the notes.

Then, use page 2 of the guided notes to teach scale factors. Model one example of how to calculate scale factors and then have students try the rest.

Have students practice dilations, scale factors, scale drawings, and similar figures using pages 3-4 of the guided notes. There is an included color by number and maze activity to make the practice fun! Walk around the classroom to answer any student questions and provide guidance as needed.

Bring the class back together, and introduce the concept of real-life applications of dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings. Explain to the students that these mathematical concepts have practical uses in various fields, such as architecture, engineering, and graphic design. Use the last page of the guided notes to have students read about how scale factors is used in mapmaking.

Ask the students to brainstorm different real-world scenarios where dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings are used. Encourage them to think about situations where it is necessary to change the size of an object or image while maintaining its proportions. Some examples could include:

Architectural blueprints: Architects use scale drawings to represent large buildings on a smaller scale. By using a scale factor, they can create detailed plans that accurately represent the different components and measurements of the building.

Maps: Cartographers use dilations and scale factors to create maps that represent large areas on a smaller scale. This allows people to navigate different areas and understand the relative distances between locations.

Engineering designs: Engineers use dilations and scale factors to design and construct various structures, such as bridges and skyscrapers. By creating scaled models, engineers can test the structural integrity and ensure that the final product will be safe and functional.

Refer to the FAQ section on the teaching resource for more ideas on how to teach real-life applications of dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings.

If you’re looking for digital practice for dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings, try my Pixel Art activities in Google Sheets. Every answer is automatically checked, and correct answers unlock parts of a mystery picture. It’s incredibly fun, and a powerful tool for differentiation.

Here are are some activities to explore:

Similar Figures Digital Pixel Art | Scale Factors, Map Scale Drawings (Winter Themed)

Dilation Digital Pixel Art | Scale Factor, Transformations (St. Patrick's Day Themed)

A fun, no-prep way to practice dilations, scale factors, and scale drawings is Doodle Math — they’re a fresh take on color by number or color by code. It includes multiple levels of practice, perfect for a review day or sub plan.

Here is an activity to try:

A fun way to wrap this lesson with your students is with one of my real-life math projects. They enable students to see the application of math in an engaging, extended project. Students create scale drawings of different Minecraft characters. Minecraft is a popular video game in middle school!

*This activity is NOT AN OFFICIAL MINECRAFT PRODUCT. NOT APPROVED BY OR ASSOCIATED WITH MOJANG.*

Dilations are transformations in math that change the size of an object without changing its shape. It involves stretching or shrinking the object by a scale factor.

To find the scale factor in a dilation, divide the length of the image by the length of the pre-image. The scale factor represents how much larger or smaller the image is compared to the pre-image.

Scale drawings, also known as scale models or blueprints, are proportional representations of objects or spaces. They are created by reducing or enlarging the sizes of the dimensions using a scale factor.

To create a scale drawing, you first determine the scale factor, which represents the proportion between the measurements of the actual object and the drawing. Then, you use this scale factor to proportionally reduce or enlarge the dimensions of the object in the drawing.

Similar figures are figures that have the same shape but may have different sizes. Their corresponding angles are congruent, and the ratios of their corresponding side lengths are equal.

To determine if two figures are similar, you need to check if their corresponding angles are congruent and if the ratios between their corresponding side lengths are equal.

Dilations and scale drawings have various real-life applications, including:

Creating architectural blueprints or floor plans

Designing models of buildings or cities

Enlarging or reducing images in photography or graphic design

Rescaling maps or globes

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