Thales Theory • The activity is based on the theory of the Greek mathematician Thales. Thales is famous for his method for measuring the heights of the pyramids using their shadow on the ground.
Rationale and Core Concepts • Shadows • Geometry/trigonometry • This is a hands on method that can be used in the classroom or at home for measuring the height of tall objects. • Our activity is based on Thales’ Theory and the playing with shadows, thus incorporating the science topic of light and the mathematics of geometry.
Expected Outcomes That the children will be enabled to: • To measure the height of very tall objects • To use geometry in a practical way • Logical thinking
Activities • To begin the lesson the teacher will explain and demonstrate Thales’ Theory. • The children will be arranged into groups of 4 and instructed to measure the heights of different things in the school, e.g. the school building, a tree, the school gate etc.
Target Group and Materials • The activity would be most suitable to children of 12 years of age. You will need: • Objects to measure • Metre stick • The children themselves! • The sun
Setting of the class Inside the class: • Explain the theory • Give instructions • Teacher will set the groups Outside the class: • The children will measure the heights of the different objects in their groups using the theory.
At Home • Theory will need to be explained to parents and so a workshop could be set up in order to prepare the parents and give them the background knowledge required. • Activities at home can offer opportunities for revision and application of what is learned at school. • Children can measure the height of their house, a telephone pole, trees etc. with their parents.
References • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thales