Measurement: How Many Noses Are in Your Arm?

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In this math lesson, learners apply the concepts of ratio and proportion to determine the length of the Statue of Liberty's torch-bearing arm. Learners use chart paper, string, and rulers to estimate the length of the statue's arm based on the knowledge that the nose is 4 feet 6 inches. The actual length of the Statue of Liberty's arm is located in an almanac (or online) and compared to the learners' estimates.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Rulers
  • String
  • Almanac (or internet)
  • Calculators
  • Chart paper and colored markers


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
    • Reasoning and Proof
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, PBS, 2012

Funding Source:

  • US Department of Education