Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
story Wind in the Willows shows how proportionality is used in literature
and art. Mr. Toad, one of the main characters, is a toad that is approximately
20 - 30 inches tall. Mr. Toad dresses in all the latest fashions and has
all the modern conveniences in proportion to his size. For example, his
dishes, clothes, and watch all are proportional to Mr. Toad. Mr. Toad must
interact with humans and use things proportional to humans. The car that
he drives and the horse and wagon that he uses are proportional to humans,
making Mr. Toad look small in comparison.
This is a cumulative activity and may be done in the math classroom or as an integrated unit with language arts classes. Prior math activities include using ratios, enlarging and shrinking rectangles, calculating unit rates, finding proportions, and graphing the proportion.
Students will compare the two situations - one, Mr. Toad and objects proportional to him and, two, Mr. Toad and objects proportional to humans. Students will then measure a stuffed Mr. Toad and make common objects proportional to Mr. Toads height.