How Big Is Alaska?

To further our study of the great state of Alaska, I asked my students which was bigger – Alaska or Wisconsin.  After looking at a few standard maps, they decided that Alaska was a little bigger.  When I asked how many Wisconsins would fit into Alaska, the average prediction was 2.5.  Aha!  This was going to be fun.  Next I showed them a map where Alaska and Wisconsin were the same scale.  What a difference.  It began a great discussion of map scale.  Their new predictions were closer, but still were a little low.  I had them cut out the state of Wisconsin and trace as many as they could into Alaska.  The average amount was 9 Wisconsins fitting into Alaska.  (Area wise it would be 10, so they were pretty close.)

Try this lesson with your own state.  I have maps attached that are the same scale – I’m sure you can find plenty with a different scale.

Compare Alaska Map