The Human Body's Built-In Range Finder: The Thumb Method of Indirect Distance Measurement

Author: Michael Wong
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By using body parts and sightlines to find the distance to an object, students can reinforce the study and application of similar triangles. This activity is a good combination of tactile learning, practical application, careful observation and modeling, and higher-order thinking. The teacher may subsequently pursue the material in greater depth or use it as a starting point for excursions into other fields of study.

Contributor Notes

Michael Wong,, has taught and tutored several different subjects in various countries. This article began as a lesson for his active, thoughtful students in the Caribbean. Now retired, he taught most recently in Brazos High School, Wallis, TX 77485.

(Corresponding author is Wong
The Mathematics Teacher


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