Interactive, Other


By using a map and a ledger on the map, the student will use a proportion to calculate how many actual miles from one destination to another. Have each student measure how many inches from the first destination to the second destination. The student will set up a proportion and calculate how many actual miles.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Mathematics > Arithmetic

Education Levels:

  • Higher Education
  • Graduate
  • Undergraduate-Upper Division
  • Undergraduate-Lower Division


ratio proportion scaling maps



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Update Standards?

MAA. Mathematics Taxonomy

Ratio and Proportion
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Bohdan Rhodehamel

When using this activity I like to de-emphasize the use of "cross" multiplication (in general, I have found that cross multiplication does not strengthen students' abilities to reason with ratios and proportions but instead becomes a quick, automated template for plugging in values for computation. I.e. an exercise in multiplication rather than ratio reasoning) and encourage students to use multiplicative comparisons to reason with the given scale factor. For example, for a scale factor of 1 inch to 5 miles, the number of miles will always be 5 times as large as the number of inches, and the number of inches will always be 1/5 the number of miles.

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