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This lesson provided by:
Author: Sara Wheeler
System:Calhoun County
School:Alexandria High School
Lesson Plan ID: 26285

Cartoons and Scale Drawings


This lesson will lead students to understand the concept of scale drawings.  The students will artistically and mathematically enlarge a cartoon.

This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.

Content Standard(s):
AED(7-12) Visual Arts: Level I5. Demonstrate the use of traditional, digital, and multimedia techniques to create works of art.
MA2013(7) 11. Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale. [7-G1]
Local/National Standards:



Measurement (9-12)

make decisions about units and scales that are appropriate for problem situations involving measurement


Measurement (6-8)

solve problems involving scale factors, using ratio and proportion;


Primary Learning Objective(s):

The student will be able to measure lengths in order to compare the sizes of the graphs being used.  The student will be able to find the areas of squares on both grids.  The student will be able to read a grid horizontally and vertically.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Cartoon section of newspaper for each student (ask students to bring one from home if the library does not have enough), 1 copy of special graph paper for each student (directions below), legal size paper, scissors, tape, ruler, pencil, colored pencils, 1 copy of Worksheet (attached) for each student

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access connected to a television or LCD projector, ELMO (optional, for displaying student work)


Students should be familiar with the basics of the coordinate plane.  This link will take you to an interactive coordinate plane that you can use to review the parts of the plane and how to plot points. 

Students should also know how to work problems involving a scale.  In other words, they should be able to set up a proportion to solve a problem involving a scale.


1.  Before class, ask students to bring a newspaper from home that has the comic section still intact.  Make sure to have extras in case students forget.  One comic section could be used by several students if you wish to conserve.

2.  Before class, create the special graph paper and print out one copy for each student.  Print out one copy of Small Graph and one copy of Large Graph (both attached).  Attach the two copies together to make one sheet that is legal size (8 1/2 x 14).  Print 1 copy for each student on legal size paper.

The following steps are those for the actual drawing.  I have attached the scale drawing that I did to view as an example.  Click the file My Drawing to look at ahead of time, or you may want to try it yourself.  Many students said they couldn't do it because they couldn't draw.  But this activity does not require artistic ability because they will be trying to copy the drawing, one square at a time.

3.  Give each student a copy of the special graph paper that you made.  They also need scissors, tape, a ruler, and the comics section of the newspaper.

4.  Tell each student to pick out their favorite comic, and then cut out ONE scene, or ONE square, from that comic.  The comics that are one big rectangle are usually too large.

5.  Tape the comic to the small graph.  Make sure to align the bottom left corner in the corner of a box in order to create a point of origin.

6.  Use a ruler to draw the vertical and horizontal lines THROUGH the comic.  It is like making the comic transparent so you can see the grid lines through it.

7.  Number the horizontal axis and vertical axis of the comic.

8.  Set up the same coordinate system on the large grid.  In other words, use the same length and width that is used for the comic. 

9.  Start drawing the comic one square at a time.  Do not let them just look at the whole picture and draw the whole thing.  They should transfer one square at a time to the larger grid.  Each individual square should be enlarged to the larger one.  It is usually easier to develop a system, such as start at the lower left-hand corner and work your way to the upper right-hand corner.

10.  When finished and happy with the sketch, color with colored pencils.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. SmallGraph.pdf
Assessment Strategies:

Monitor student work throughout the lesson to make sure they understand the directions.  Distribute the Worksheet (attached) for them to complete at home and take up the next day for mathematical accuracy.  This worksheet will allow them to analyze the scale drawing they created.


For students who need more practice with the coordinate plane, access this link for an online video reviewing this topic.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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