Drawing to Scale: A Garden

Mathematical goals

This lesson unit is intended to help assess how well students are able to interpret and use scale drawings to plan a garden layout. This involves using proportional reasoning and metric units.


This lesson unit is structured in the following way:

  • Before the lesson, students work individually on a task designed to reveal their current levels of understanding. You review their responses and create questions to help them improve their work.
  • At the start of the lesson, students reflect on their individual responses, before producing a collaborative improved solution to the task. Then, in the same small groups students analyze sample responses. They then discuss as a whole-class the methods they have seen and used.
  • In a follow-up lesson, students reflect on their work. If time allows, an extension task is available.

Materials required

  • Each student will need a copy of Design a Garden and Garden Plan, some blank paper, a mini-whiteboard, pen, and eraser, and the How Did You Work? questionnaire. The Garden Plan should be copied at exactly 100% scale so the measurements are accurate. If this is not possible, photocopy the rules on S-3, one rule per student, which should then match the Garden Plan measurements. It will be useful to have spare copies of the Garden Plan.
  • Each small group of students will need a new copy of the Garden Plan, the Assistants’ Methods, a glue stick, felt-tipped pen, and a sheet of poster paper. For the optional extension Mandy’s Second Email will be needed. Provide short rules, meter rules, string, protractors, scissors, glue, card, plain paper, graph paper, and colored pencils for students who choose to use them.

Time needed

  • 20 minutes before the lesson, a 110-minute lesson (or two 60-minute lessons), and 10 minutes in a follow-up lesson. Actual timings will depend on the needs of your students.