What does Earth really look like?

You’ve probably seen a map. But have you ever wondered about whether that map was lying to you? And if so…what does the earth really look like?

In this lesson, students approximate the areas of different landmasses by decomposing them into triangles and rectangles. They do this for two different maps, and find that the areas of different continents depend highly on the map they use. Finally, students debate whether or not the map you use affects how you see — both literally and figuratively — the world.

- Decompose the shapes of different landmasses into rectangles and triangles in order to estimate areas
- Approximate the relative sizes of landmasses using ratios
- Compare area estimates using two different map projections
- Discuss non-mathematical implications of using one map over another

- Rulers

West Wing