Proportionate People


accelerator membership

How can you use proportion to manipulate perception?

View images of famous landmarks (The Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, etc). Ask: how large or small are these landmarks? Then, show the same landmark with a person beside it. Are these people proportionate in the image to the landmark?

Lesson Process:

Step 1:  Provide each student with an image of one of the landmarks and a piece of grid paper. Ask students to represent the proportional relationship they calculated in the engagement by measure the landmarks based on the amount of blocks on the grid it consumes and then shading in these blocks.

Step 2: Using a different color, shade in the amount of blocks that an average male, female, and child would consume on the grid based on their earlier equation.

Step 3:  Discuss how you can change the proportional relationship between objects based on how the image was captured. How does this change in proportional relationship affect reality?

Step 4:  Overlay the original landmark image with a piece of grid paper and using the Stippling technique, transfer the landmark onto the grid paper. Do this same process with a piece of a man, woman or child.

Step 5:  Have students create a stipple composite image that combines the landmark and either the man, woman or child into a skewed proportional relationship compared to the original. Once complete, students can calculate the new proportional relationship between the individual and the landmark.

Time Required:
30-45 minutes

Materials List:

  • Pencils, Markers, Colored Pencils
  • Grid paper
  • Tape
  • Photos of historic landmarks from around the world
  • Images of men, women and children



Assess students based on this criteria:

• Accuracy of proportionate relationship equations

• An artist sentence reflects an understanding of the effect of proportion on viewer perception

• Students use the equations and artist statement to manipulate their skills to create a new piece.