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Measuring Up!

In this lesson, students explore how to measure the length of objects using rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes. They decide which tools are best for measuring objects of various sizes. This lesson assumes students have limited experience with measurement tools. |

NC Mathematics Standard(s):

Measurement and Data

Measure and estimate lengths

NC.2.MD.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.

Additional/Supporting Standards

NC.2.MD.2 Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different

lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.

NC.2.NBT.4

Compare two three-digit numbers based on the value of the hundreds, tens, and ones digits, using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons.

Standards for Mathematical Practice:

3. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

### 5. Attend to precision.

### 6. Use appropriate tools strategically.

Student Outcomes:

- I can describe an object according to its length.
- I can choose which measuring tool is best for smaller objects and larger objects.
- I can estimate the length of an object.
- I can use a measuring tool to measure the actual length of an object.

Math Language:

What words or phrases do I expect students to talk about during this lesson?

- length, ruler, meter stick, yardstick, measuring tape, centimeter, meter, inch, foot, yard

Materials:

- Computer with Internet access
- Chart paper for anchor chart
- Rulers
- Meter sticks
- Yard sticks
- Measuring tapes
- Handout for each student

Advance Preparation:

- Gather measuring tools
- Print the handout for students
- Set up anchor chart- you may create this with your students
- Set up video for launch activity

Launch 1:

Sid the Science Kid video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPEcTmySUIs 3min 36 sec

Ask students: What is length? On what kinds of objects can you measure length? What are some small objects with a length you might measure? Large objects? What tools have you seen that can measure length? Talk with your neighbor about ways you can measure the length of your hand, the length of your desk, and the length of the white board.

Teacher Note: The video is titled nonstandard measurement, however the video focuses on standard units of measurement.

Ask students which tool would be appropriate for measuring objects of larger and smaller sizes, such as the chalk tray or a pencil or even a blue whale.

Explore 1: Measure It! 20 min;

- Show the students the different tools and discuss the different units of an inch and a centimeter. A good way of remembering the length of an inch is that it’s about the distance from knuckle to knuckle on pointer finger or the width of a quarter. A centimeter is about the width of a pinky fingernail.
- Have students choose one of the measurement tools (ruler, yardstick, meter stick, or measuring tape) and explore around the classroom. Choose 5 objects, estimate the measurement, and then check it with the tool. Use the worksheet to record your items and measurements.
- After the first measurement you will want to assign a different tool to each group, or revisit this activity, rotating measuring tools and then discussing how their measurements compare.
- Have students compare the measurement. For example, when the book was measured it was

15 inches, but when it was measured in centimeters it was 38 cm. Why are the numbers different?

Visit groups as they explore, posing questions such as:

• Can you tell me why you decided to measure an object of this size?

• What does this number represent?

• What do you think your next step might be?

• What does this number mean in relation to the other objects you are measuring? Larger/smaller/similar?

Discuss: Student share time:

- Students can share strategies through gallery walks or class presentations. (10min)
- Encourage students to ask questions of their peers about their estimates and actual measurements.
- Discuss terms as students share such as: length, ruler, meter stick, yard stick, measuring tape, centimeter, meter, inch, foot, yard
- What information did you use to estimate your object’s length?
- How did you decide what to measure with your tool?
- Why is it important to stick with the same system of measurement?

- Show students how the units of measurement compare to their bodies:
- centimeter- width of pinky nail
- inch- distance from knuckle to knuckle on pointer finger or width of a quarter
- foot- distance between shoulders
- yard/meter- distance of hands when arms reaching out to their sides

- Have them compare their measurements. Why are the numbers different when they measured an object in inches and then measured it in centimeters?

Additional Measurement Literature

Measuring Penny- Read the story to the class. It incorporates standard and nonstandard measurement.

How Big Is a Foot? A charming story about how standard measurement may have been invented.

Other books recommended by the K-5 Math Resource Center

https://www.k-5mathteachingresources.com/2nd-grade-measurement-and-data.html

Evaluation of Student Understanding

Informal Evaluation: Observe students working in their groups, asking questions that are listed above in the Explore section. Suggest a new object and ask them to estimate the length of the objects and observe them measuring the object afterwards to gauge student understanding.

Formal Evaluation/Exit Ticket: Check measurement charts. Show students an object, such as a book, and ask them which measurement tool they would use and how long it would be, including a unit of measurement such as cm, in, ft, m, yd. Why is that the best tool to use to measure the object?

Meeting the Needs of the Range of Learners

Intervention: Some students may need guidance on how to measure using the edge of the ruler or 0 mark on the ruler, lining it up with the object. They also may need support in understanding how line up the next iteration of the tool, if the tool is shorter than the object being measured.

Estimation may be difficult for some students, so it may be helpful to introduce strategies for estimation, such as how units of measurement compare to body parts, before students begin their small group exploration.

Extension: Allow students to rotate stations, using a different measuring tool than before. Challenge students to measure much larger distances of lengths such as down the hallway. Ask how they will keep track of their measurements when the tool isn’t long enough. (Maybe using multiple tools that are the same such as several tape measures and adding together the measurements or marking the spots of starting/stopping with tape.)

Use the Measuring Penny story or other literature book to discuss importance of using standard units of measurement.

Possible Misconceptions/Suggestions:

Possible Misconceptions |
Suggestions |

Special Notes:

- The teacher may want to choose specific objects for students to measure in the classroom to keep groups more organized.
- The teacher may assign each group to an area of the room to give each group the proper amount of space to explore without disturbing other groups.

Possible Solutions:

Our standards require for students to be familiar with a variety of tools to measure the length of an object, using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes. This activity allows for students to see which tools are most useful for measuring objects of different lengths.

Activity Sheet

Name ___________________

Choose a measurement tool such as a ruler, yardstick, meter stick, or tape measure. Find 5 objects around the room and estimate how many inches, centimeters, feet, yards, or meters the objects measure. Then use a measuring tool to find out the actual measurement. Be sure to label your numbers with the correct units! Then measure it again with a different unit.

Object |
Estimate |
Measurement |
Estimate |
Measurement |

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