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Choosing the right measurement tool and standard unit is the topic of this lesson




K, 1, 2  


Title – Measurement in Standard Units
By – Sandra Emmons
Primary Subject – Math
Grade Level – K-2

Objective: The student will be able to choose the proper measurement unit and the corresponding measurement tool needed for a particular measurement in length, volume, and weight/mass.

Hook 10 minutes

      1. Begin lesson by reading

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

      by Alison Jackson.


      This story is a silly spin on the rhyming song

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

      . The story stars a voraciously hungry relative who comes to Thanksgiving dinner with a pie. She eats the pie before she even gets in the house so she has to swallow some cider “that ‘rumbled and mumbled and grumbled inside her.” The reason for drinking all the cider was because “She swallowed the cider to moisten the pie, / The Thanksgiving pie, which was really too dry, /Perhaps she’ll die.” The story continues in this manner and we see the hosts grow visibly alarmed by the old lady’s unrealistic appetite and unnaturally increasing size.
    2. After reading the book, discuss the food that the lady swallowed. Also discuss the amount of food that the lady swallowed and how we could measure how much food she ate.

Guided Practice 15 minutes

      1. Demonstrate some different uses for measurement by showing the students various items (a book, a glass of water, and a tree outside the window). Ask the students “How would we measure______?”(insert one of these items)
    2. Talk about choosing the appropriate tool for measuring each item. For example, tell the students “If I wanted to know the height of the classroom door, I would not measure the door’s height in inches, I would measure it in feet.”

Independent Practice 20 minutes

      1. The students will be given a pencil, a notebook and paired off by the teacher and sent to one of four centers that are set up throughout the classroom. The centers are set up for the students to explore different measurement tools. At each center, there will be an item and several measuring tools. Students will be instructed not to do anything at the center until told to begin.
      2. The students will be instructed that they will have 4 minutes at each center. They will be instructed to choose the best measuring tool for each item and write its name in their notebook. The students will then use the tool to measure the item and record their measurements in their notebooks. Students will also be instructed to write in their notebook why they chose that particular measurement tool.
      3. The teacher will set a timer for 4 minutes and tell the students to begin. The teacher will walk around the classroom from group to group to observe their work. When the timer goes off, the teacher will ask the students to stop work at their center and move quietly to the next center.
    4. Students will continue their way around the classroom in this manner until they have visited each center.

Closing 5 minutes

      When students have visited each center, the teacher will ask the students to return to their desks. The teacher will lead a class discussion about the activity. Ask the students: “What else could we measure using a ________ ?” (insert type of measurement tool)


      “Why is it important that we have and use standard measurement tools?”


    “What kinds of problems could we have if everyone used a different measurement tool for measuring ________?” (insert type of measurement tool)


There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

      by Alison Jackson,


      – pencils


      – Math notebook for each student


      – measuring tools (measuring cups, rulers, scale, tape measure, measuring spoons, etc.)


    – objects to measure (glass of water, toy truck, box of pencils, canister of salt, etc.)

E-Mail Sandra Emmons !

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