Lesson Plan

Converting Metric Measurement in Word Problems

Students will learn to convert metric units by applying concepts in word problems. Exercises and worksheets incorporate length (meters), and optional practice offers more instructions on mass (grams) and volume (liters).
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Metric Conversions Conversations pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Metric Conversions Conversations pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to solve multi-step word problems that require converting metric units (involving whole numbers and decimals).

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(5 minutes)
Preparing to Convert Metric Measurement Using DeconstructionMetric Length Measurement: Word ProblemsMetric Mass and Volume Measurement in Word Problems
  • Pass out metric rulers, one per student.
  • Direct students to examine their rulers and note the size of the different units.
  • Prompt students to share with a partner the names for any units they know (like centimeters and millimeters) and examples of items they could measure with those units.
  • Pose the following question to your class: "How might you measure something using the metric system that is longer than a ruler, like their desk, the height of the door, or the distance to the grocery store?"


  • Allow students to use their home language (L1) or new language (L2) in their discussions throughout the whole lesson, whether their speaking in partners or to the whole group.
  • Provide vocabulary cards with visuals if possible for the following words: "measurement," "nearest," "conversion," "centimeter," "meter," and "metric." Give them definitions in their L1 and L2.
  • Take notes of the ideas and metric units shared by students on the board with either a word web or another graphic organizer.


  • Write the academic language they can use throughout the lesson on the board as you introduce the language (e.g., "I would use meters to meaure ________.") and vocabulary terms (e.g., "centimeters," "metric," "meters," "millimeters," etc.).
  • Provide sentence stems to help students communicate their ideas, such as, "The length of the pen in meters is... A pattern I noticed is..."

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