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NCTM Activity - Clinometer 1
Task with Student Directions

GLOBE Assessment
Grade K-4

Math Activity for Protocol Test

Four groups measured the distance from the tree to the spot where they used the clinometer. Group 1 recorded the distance as 155 cm. Group 2 recorded the distance as 150 meters. Group 3 recorded the distance as 148 mm. Group 4 recorded the distance as 138 m. Which group used the correct units? How can you tell?

NCTM Standard: measurement 1.1 through 1.3
Which of the measurements are greater than a meter in length?

NCTM Standard: measurement 1.2 through 1.3
Arrange the measurements (above) from smallest to largest.

NCTM Standard: measurement 1.2 through 1.3.

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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