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NCTE Activity - Clinometer 1
Task with Student Directions

Literacy Activity for Protocol Test

Write 3 sentences that compare your height with the height of a tree. Be sure to include at least one sentence that describes the tree, one sentence that describes you and one sentence that compares you and the tree.

(OR school building / tallest building in the town (neighborhood) / bicycle etc.)

Clinometer Protocol Test

The Clinometer protocol test assesses students' ability to construct and use a clinometer.

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Construction & Use of Clinometer Protocol Test




Student activity & Level of Performance

+ appropriate student performance

- inappropriate student performance

n.a. not appropriate or not observed


clinometer sheet

table of tangents


drinking straw

metal nut/washer

15 cm of thread/floss

glue, scissors

hole-punch, tape

Construct Clinometer                                              
Attach clinometer to one side and table of tangents to other side of cardboard                                              
Punch hole at marked circle; tie 15 cm. string (attached to metal nut/washer) through hole                                              
Tape straw along designated line to use as a sight                                              
Using the Clinometer                                              
Stand on level ground with object being measured                                              
Measure & record height of eyes from the ground                                              
Sight top of object through clinometer straw                                              
Partner records – BVW (string + washer)                                              
Measure & record distance from observer to object                                              
Calculate & record height of object:

Tree height = (TAN – BVW x distance to object) + eye height



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