Use a particular scale to make a model of a large object.
Newspaper, cardstock, scissors, glue, tape, balsa wood, craft sticks, plastic building blocks, or other materials suitable for creating a model, graph paper, rulers.
Architects and engineers use scale models to represent large buildings and structures so that others can see what a finished project will look like. Scales are commonly expressed as a ratio like 1:n; every inch in the model represents n inches in real life. The scale can be different depending on the object being modeled. A scale of 1:650 is commonly used for models of large buildings, while the Miniature Railroad & Village® at Carnegie Science Center is built to a 1:48 scale.
Select an object to model with your students. The object can be something as complicated as a skyscraper or as simple as a cube. Measure the real object (or look up the specifications for famous buildings online) and calculate how big the model will be. A tower that stands 1,000' tall in real life will be about 1.5' tall as a 1:650 scale model.
An easy project for a student to start with is making a scale model of their bedroom. Measuring the dimensions of their room, bed, and other furniture is done at home. Sketch the bedroom on graph paper using a one inch to one foot, or 1:12, scale, and then build it. Make the model without a ceiling so you can see the contents of the room.