In this activity, students will gain a knowledge and understanding of both the metric and customary systems of measuring length with rulers, meter / yardsticks, and tape measures.
For each student:
- (2) 3" x 12" pieces of oak tag
- ruler with standard and metric measurements
- Measuring in Feet and Inches chart
- Enlarged Inch labeled
- Enlarged Inch
- plastic overhead ruler (to nearest 1/8 inch)
How Tall How Short How Faraway by David A. Adler
Measuring by Sheila Cato
Background for Teachers
Use accurate terminology to demonstrate and explain Metric
and Customary Units of Length Measurement. Encourage students to also use correct
Customary: A system of measurement used in the United States. The system
includes units for measuring length, capacity, and weight.
|Units of Length Measurement in Customary
|one foot (ft or ')
||12 inches (in or ")
|one yard (yd)
|1 mile (mi)
Intended Learning Outcomes
1. Become mathematical problem solvers.
2. Make mathematical connections.
Invitation to Learn
Have students work in partners/cooperative groups to list as many occupations
as possible where tools are used for measuring. Students should also list what
tools are used with each job. Discuss why it is important to learn how to use
these tools in real life situations.
- Each student receives one of the 3" x 12" pieces of oak tag.
- Students are then instructed that this paper represents one magic amazing
inch. As the teacher models, students follow the teachers example:
- Teacher will fold the paper in half once. Then draw a line on the fold,
and label it 1/2. The left side edge of the paper will be labeled 0/2,
while the right side edge will be labeled 2/2.
- While students continue to follow the teachers example, the teacher
will fold the paper in half again. Students will be asked how many equal
parts there are. A line a littler shorter will be drawn on the additional
folds and labeled 1/4, 2/4, and 3/4. The edges will be appropriately labeled
0/4 and 4/4.
- One more fold and with shorter lines drawn on the folds which will be
labeled 1/8, 2/8, 3/8, 4/8, 5/8, 6/8, and 7/8. The edges will be labeled
0/8 and 8/8.
- During the folding process, the teacher will review how each time the magic
inch is folded each of the new sections are equal in size.
- Teacher places a transparent plastic ruler on the overhead and points to
the different lines on the ruler asking individual students (or popcorn style
where students quietly call out answers), what part of the inch each line
- Students will apply the concept of the magic inch to an enlarged inch ruler
on a sheet of paper by labeling it as was done with the magic inch
and with the overhead.
- Students will practice estimating and measuring by using paper rulers which
are ruled to 1 inch, 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, and 1/8 inch. (It would be a good
idea to have students practice first with the 1 inch ruler. Then, after some
practice use the 1/2 inch ruler. Continue to practice, then progress to the
1/4 inch ruler and finally after more practice the 1/8 inch ruler). Answers
are recorded on a copy of the Measuring in Feet and Inches Worksheet.
- Students will then partner and, using a ruler, review with each other what
the different lines on the ruler represent.
- Working in partners or groups, the class will then estimate the measurement
of several items in the classroom and record their answers on the Measuring
in Feet and Inches worksheet. After estimating, students will measure
and record the exact measurement of each item.
- Students label and glue a copy of an enlarged inch in their journals.
- Students will explain in their journals how 2/4 and 4/8 are equal to 1/2,
and 2/8 is equal to 1/4, etc. (tie in with fractions).
Journal writing: Discuss how measurement is used in occupations. Use
rulers as an additional way to teach fractions. Students, working with a partner,
measure themselves and each other, then make a half-size selfportrait on butcher
paper. They may draw clothes, hair, etc., to make the half-size me look like
themselves. Construction paper and yarn may also be used for clothes and hair.
(This activity may be done by customary, to the nearest inch, or metric measuring,
to the nearest centimeter.)
“Inches” or “Metric Measurement” Games
Social Studies—Students interview parents or other relative to discover
how measurement is used in their jobs. Graph the class results.
Math—The measuring activities may also be done in the metric system.
Homework & Family Connections
Students take a 3" x 12" piece of tag board home and teach parents
or siblings how to fold and label their own “magic inch.”
Students estimate and then measure items in their homes and record answers
on “Measuring in Feet and Inches” worksheet.
Students will estimate the measurement of several items, then measure them
and record answers on a copy of the “Measuring in Feet and Inches”
Students write the correct measurements on an enlarged inch (blackline included).