The idea for this assignment was to create a math lesson that integrated the Bible. The completed lesson plan was posted on a discussion board, where all students in Liberty University’s Instructional Practices for Math Teachers class could view each other’s plans and give each other advice and encouragement. One classmate advised me “to integrate the Bible more into your lesson [by reading] all of these biblical stories out loud before the class chooses which topic they want to do.” Another classmate’s commented that “having the students start by drawing a scale of the classroom is a really good idea…. When you scale out the classroom students can gain a good feel for comparing the classroom in real life and what it looks like on paper. When they go into scripture and then scale out the various places, they can start to imagine what these places really looked like.” My teacher gave me 100% on this assignment.
I stumbled on the idea for this biblical integration rather randomly. Our family is reading through the Bible in a year, and we were just reading the end of Ezekiel when this assignment came. I had been marveling at the precise instructions in Ezekiel for the layout of the temple in Ezekiel 40-42 and thinking it would be a fun project to make a drawing or blueprint of the temple. And then I thought of this assignment! Well, I realized that making a blueprint of the temple would have been far too complicated of a project, so I decided to go with the land distributions in Ezekiel 48. Then I thought, Why not have options for the students to choose from out of the many architectural designs in the Bible? And this lesson plan was born!
Lesson Plan: Scale Drawings & Biblical Architecture
Show a short documentary about creating blueprints for construction/architecture work.
Objective (Grade 7)
State Standard of Learning [SOL]: “Use proportions and ratios to solve problems involving scale drawings and conversions of measurement units” (Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Math, 2007, 184.108.40.206).
National SOL: “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” (Grade 7 >> Geometry, n.d., CCSS.Math.Content.7.G.A.1).
Work with the students to make a scale drawing of the classroom on the blackboard. Require participation, whether students choose to help take measurements, make unit conversions, work on the drawing itself, or create the scale key. Oversee and make corrections/clarifications as necessary. Stress the importance of precision.
Divide the students into 4 groups. Each group must choose a different biblical design to make a scale drawing/blueprint of from the following: (1) Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6:14-16, New Living Translation*), (2) the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:1-29), (3) the divisions of the land for the tribes of Israel (Ezekiel 48), or (4) the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10-20). They must include a key for the scale in their drawing.
*The New Living Translation gives the measurements in Standard English units.
Go over again as a class the key principles one must know to make scale drawings. Discuss why such precise measurements were so important to God.
Grade 7 >> Geometry. (n.d.). Retrieved from Common Core State Standards Initiative: http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/7/G/
Minnesota K-12 academic standards in mathematics. (2007). Retrieved from Minnesota Department of Education: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/StanCurri/K-12AcademicStandards/Math/index.html