Sunday, January 29, 2012

Standard Units of Measurement

I've been teaching the kids how to use a ruler and wanted to explain why it's important that we use "standard units of measurement". I came up with a really fun lesson plan and wanted to share it with you. First, I created a worksheet that you can copy and print or at least use as an idea for creating your own:

I then had the kids trace their feet on different colored construction  paper, and cut them out, putting their name on one side. I divided each  cut out with lines to show 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 so they had more than just  one of their feet as a measurement.

Next, I included a piece of paper with three lines of different  measurements (I had measured out 10", 4" and 6") and then chose our dry  erase board and my personal calendar that hangs on the wall. Prior to  the lesson, I had measured the other items and found the calendar to be  1" and the dry erase board exactly 3".

After reading  through the explanation of what a standard unit of measurement was, and  estimating how big they thought the dry erase board was in their own  feet, I set them loose to measuring.

I had traced and cut out my own construction paper foot and measured along with them and it was fun giggling about how much bigger mom's feet were than theirs. When all was done, we sat down and compared our answers to the written questions. The ideas on what could be used other than a ruler to measure things was fun. We had everything from licorice sticks, band-aids (but what size?), toy cars, legos and the list grew just talking about it. It became clear real fast, that if people used anything to measure, there would be a lot of confusion. Then, before moving to our charts of measurements, I measured our foot cut outs to see exactly how long they were in actual inches. It was really funny, because a couple times, the measurements would have been right. Such as, the length of one line, was exactly 3/4 the length of my son's foot. The line was actually 4" and when we measured what it would be on his foot, 3/4 the length of his foot was exactly 4".

So, now they are measuring things with their feet and giggling over how big daddy's feet are compared to theirs. I hope you get inspired to have fun with your lesson plan. I sure did!

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