Slope Project Ideas

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

The slope of the line, or measure of steepness, is a geometric concept with real world relevancy from the construction of wheel chair ramps to high heeled shoes. These projects provide students the opportunity to experiment with the concept of slope.


Slope, or the gradient of a line, is a mathematical concept with practical applications outside the classroom. The projects in this asset relate the concept of slope to shoe design and art to help students develop conceptual understanding in engaging ways.

Grade level: 8-12

High Heel Shoes

Students will use their understanding of slope in a real-world context to compare heeled shoes.


  • camera
  • graph paper
  • measuring tape
  • poster board
  • tape

Guiding Question

  • How can I determine the slope of my shoes?


  • In small groups, measure the length and heel height of at least 5 pairs of heeled shoes of various heights and styles. Take pictures of each pair of shoes.
  • Calculate the slope for each shoe and graph on a coordinate plane. Label the coordinates, the slope, and whether the slope is positive, negative, or straight.
  • Research the effects of the slope of a shoe and draw conclusions about which shoes are best for comfort, walking speed, and walking on a slope. Write a paragraph about these conclusions.
  • Arrange the pictures with captions, graphs, equations, and written summary on a poster board. Present to class.

Stained Glass

Students will create an original piece of art and calculate the slope for each of the lines in their work.


  • graph paper
  • markers
  • straight edge

Guiding Question

  • How can I use what I know about slope to create art?


  • Research how slope is used in art.
  • On graph paper, draw 7-10 lines that extend at various angles from one side of the paper to the other. Some lines will extend from the top to the bottom of the page and other lines from the left to the right of the page. Some lines should cross.
  • For each line, create a value table that identifies coordinates, y-intercept, and slope on a separate sheet of paper. Identify if the slope is positive, negative, or straight. Write the equation for slope next to each line on graph paper.
  • Trace each of the lines with black marker. Color the spaces between the lines to create the stained glass window effect. Use at least 4 different colors on the window.

Inspirational Words

Students will examine the lines in letters to differentiate between types of slopes.


  • graph paper
  • markers

Guiding Question

  • What is the difference between each type of slope?

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