Donald in Mathmagic Land lesson

  • Hook the students with the question "Which of you are Golden Students?"
  • Show the video Donald Duck In Mathmagic Land up to the point where Donald is trying to fit into the golden rectangle.
  • Explain that as the students observed from the video, there are many things in nature which have proportions of the golden ratio. Divide students into cooperative groups to collect data from body measurements to form ratios. Students will analyze these ratios to determine which student is the closest to being golden.
  • When they have completed all measurements, direct students to convert these ratios into their equivalent decimal forms using the calculator. Round to the nearest thousandth.
  • Tell your class that the golden ratio is equivalent to 1.618. As a class, decide a reasonable range of golden (i.e.: 1.568 to 1.668). Have the students circle the ratios on their lists which are golden. 
  • Decide as a class, which student(s) are golden. This is usually the person with the most ratios circled by his or her name.
  • Continue the lesson by having the students make a class histogram/bar graph of a body ratio.
  • Have the groups collect ratios from all of the students and make a large class histogram using the poster board and markers. Discuss the characteristics of a good graph such as title, axis names, and scales. 
  • Have students present their poster board in front of the class or display the poster boards around the room. 
  • Summarize the activity by revisiting ratios, equivalent forms, and the golden ratio. 
  • An added enhancement would be to show the pictures of various items that might be golden.
  • Reward the class by showing the end of the video. 
The worksheet for this lesson (pdf) is here
lesson plan originally found at