Teacher Lesson Plan
Vitruvius, a Roman engineer of the first century B.C., influenced Leonardo da Vinci's work in architecture and also his drawing of the human figure. One of Leonardo's drawings is called the Vitruvian Man. It is based on a model of ideal proportions which Vitruvius established.
The drawing shows a square inscribed inside a circle. There is a man with outstretched arms and legs, in fact two pairs of each, which touch both the circumference of the circle and the vertices of the square. Upon viewing the drawing the conclusion can be made that the length of a man's arm span is equal to the height of the man. In other words the ratio of the Vitruvian Man's arm span to his height equals 1.
How can we trust a drawing? The following activity will investigate if this is true or not. After data have been gathered from all of the students in the class, you will be asked:
Using measuring devices work in pairs and measure both your height and your arm span. As you measure cut a piece of string equal to the two measurements. This can be accomplished by measuring first and then measuring out the string OR by using the string as the measuring device, cut it and then find the length of the string. Either method should result in two pieces of string per person and noted measurements per person.
As you and your partner are waiting for the class to complete their measurements and record them on the data sheet provided by your teacher, look at the difference between the lengths of string. As you work with the data and calculate the ratios, remember what you noticed about the two string lengths.
Method 1 -- Graph Paper
Using the class data graph the two columns of data using either the given grid or standard graph paper. Here is a sample.Method 2 -- Spreadsheet
Using the class data instruct students to graph the two columns of data using a spreadsheet program.Discussion Questions:
Respond to the following journal prompts:
Leonardo da Vinci Resources
Home || The Math Library || Quick Reference || Search || Help