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This circle measurement activity uses bubbles




3, 4  


Title – Bubble Mania
By – Melissa Lambert
Primary Subject – Math
Grade Level – 3-4th grade
Melissa Lambert

Bubble Trouble!
Using Bubbles to learn about Circumference, Diameter, & Radius

Grade Level: 3rd
Number of Students: 16
Time Needed: 50 minutes

Brief Summary of Lesson:

After an introductory story and discussion, students are given opportunities to practice measurement skills as they create and examine a soap bubble print. Students find the diameter, circumference, and radius of the bubble print. The students will also take part in a bubble-blowing contest.

Key Generalizations:

All circles have a circumference, diameter, and radius that can be measured or calculated.


  • The students will be able to create a soap bubble print.
  • The students will be able to measure the circumference in cm. of their bubble print.
  • The students will be able to measure the diameter in cm. of their bubble print.
  • The students will be able to measure the radius in cm. of their bubble print.


    It is important for students to become familiar with the concepts of circumference, diameter, and radius, as it will solidify their knowledge base for further education of geometry.

    Standards Addressed by this Lesson:

    Wisconsin Model Academic Standards- Content Standard C: Geometry

      C.4.1- Describe two and three-dimensional figures by: naming them and drawing and constructing physical models to specifications, identifying their properties, and explaining how these figures are related to objects in the environment.

    Wisconsin Model Academic Standards- Content Standard D: Measurement

        D.4.1- Recognize and describe measurable attributes such as length, liquid capacity, time, weight, temperature, volume, and identify the appropriate units to measure them.

        D.4.2- Demonstrate understanding of basic facts, principles, and techniques of measurement.

        D.4.3- Read and interpret measuring instruments.

      D.4.4- Determine measurements directly by using standard tools to these suggested degrees of accuracy: length to the nearest half-inch or nearest centimeter.

    Prerequisite Skills/Knowledge/Values:

    The students should have a good understanding of the following concepts: shape of circle, concept of a half, centimeter, and the ability to conduct simple measurements using a ruler.

    Adaptations Necessary for Special Needs Students:

    The teacher should be aware of any students having difficulties and spend one-on-one time with that student. The student can also be paired with another student who is at a higher level of mathematical understanding.

    Materials Needed:

        Sir Cumference & the Round Table book

        12 Bottles of Bubbles with wands

        Round items to practice measurements




        Construction Paper

        16 Bubble Mania Experiment Sheets

        Poster board diagram of Circumference, Diameter, and Radius

      Prizes for the Bubble Blowing Contest

    Teaching Lesson Procedures:

    Introduction: Ask the students if they have ever heard of the words Circumference, Diameter, and Radius. Tell the students that today they will be using bubbles to learn about those concepts. Read the students the book titled, “Sir Cumference and The Round Table.” Discuss the above concepts in greater detail using the poster board diagram. Ask students of any objects they can see that we could measure. Explain to the students that it is hard to use a ruler to measure round things. Ask the students if they can think of any ways to measure something round using yarn and a ruler. Model how to measure to the students. Be sure to tell students that for measurement’s sake we will be rounding the centimeters up. Have the students practice measuring their objects.

    Preparing for Activity: After the students have gotten the hang of measuring and finding circumference, diameter, and radius organize the students into pairs using the “Radius & Diameter Activity.” On 8 of the nametags, mark them “Radius” and list one of the following numbers: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,or 9. On the other nametags mark them “Diameter and list” these numbers: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18. The students will then after understanding that Diameter is the radius plus itself find their corresponding partner. For easier understanding we will have the “Radius” students find their corresponding diameter.

    Start of Activity: Explain the bubble blowing activity. Hand out each pair a Bubble Mania Experiment worksheet. The students are to take turns blowing bubbles onto a piece of dark construction paper until the bubble pops and leaves a circular soap bubble print (This can also be modeled for the students.) The students will blow five bubbles and measure the circumference, diameter, and radius and list the measurements in centimeters on their experiment sheet.

    Bubble Blowing & Discussion: After the students have experimented with blowing bubbles and measuring them have a class discussion on their findings. Ask them what did you find most difficult? What was easy? Do you notice any patterns?

    Bubble Blowing Contest: Tell the students that now that they have an understanding of the concepts of circumference, diameter, and radius they are going to have a Bubble Blowing Contest! Tell the students that they will have 5-10 minutes to blow a bubble with the biggest circumference. After they have done this each pair will bring their biggest bubble to the front of the room and we will hang them up. As a class we will decide who has the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest circumference. Each pair of winners will come to the front of the room and pick a prize.

    Conclusion & Assessment: Ask the students what was their favorite part of the activity and why? Ask them why is it important to know how to measure things. The teacher will also go around and view experiment sheets and make sure that the concepts taught have been understood.

    Hand out treats: The teacher congratulates students and hand out Little Debbie Oatmeal pies. Before the students can eat them they have to all agree on the measurements of circumference, diameter and radius of the treats.

    Bubble Print Activity Sheet

    Name #1___________________

    Name #2___________________

    Instructions: Using your bubbles and construction paper, blow bubbles one at a time to make a bubble print. Be sure to number your bubbles so they don’t get mixed up! After you get done making one bubble print use the yarn and ruler to measure circumference, diameter, and radius in centimeters. Do this 5 more times so you have measured a total of 5 bubbles.


    Circumference is the distance around the circle
    Diameter is the widest part of the circle
    Radius is half of the Diameter- if you get stuck just try to think- what number plus itself will equal the diameter? Or the Diameter divided by 2 = the radius.

    Bubbles        Circumference     Diameter     Radius  
    Bubble #1    Cm    Cm    Cm   
    Bubble #2    Cm    Cm    Cm   
    Bubble #3    Cm    Cm    Cm   
    Bubble #4    Cm    Cm    Cm   
    Bubble #5    Cm    Cm    Cm   

    E-Mail Melissa Lambert !

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