Mathalicious: Cartogra-fail

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.


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Math Topics
Social Studies Topics
Middle School
7th Grade

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