This one-day activity helps students practice using proportions and making one- and two-step measurement conversions. It is written for a 45-50 minute period (depending on the level of your students), and it requires the prerequisite skill of being comfortable using a ruler in inches. In the activity, students will be given the handprint of a "giant," and then will be asked to use proportions to find the giant's height, bed length, and more. It also includes practicing measurement conversions. It was used originally with high school juniors, but the conversions could easily be simplified to make it adaptable to younger grades. I also originally intended the activity to be completed in partners.
This project will make a much larger impact the larger you can make the "giant's hand imprint" for the students to measure. For example, if you can draw a handprint on a large Post-It paper, the calculated height of the giant will be much more impressive than if the handprint simply filled up a piece of printer paper. Another possible modification would be for half of the class to use the handprint of a "dwarf," and then the halves of the class could report their results to the other side at the end of class.