Measuring Shadows Using an Ancient Method

This resource also includes:

New Review

How did ancient peoples determine the height of really tall objects? Young scientists and mathematicians explore the concept of using shadows to measure height in a hands-on experiment. Paired pupils measure shadows, then calculate the height of the object using similar triangles.

13 Views 11 Downloads NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Work the science angle by having class members form a hypothesis regarding why this measurement method is accurate
  • Assign research on the topic of ancient forms of measurement and measurement devices
Classroom Considerations

  • The activity works best when performed outdoors
  • Locate enough yard sticks for each working pair
Pros

  • The activity is very streamlined and keeps learners focused on the objectives of the lesson
  • Makes a good exercise for classes studying the solar eclipse, as shadows are useful tools for eclipse observation
Cons

  • None