EL Support Lesson
Measure with Cubes
Students will be able to measure length using standard and non-standard units.
Students will be able to describe the steps to measure length using centimeter cubes with visual and partner support.
- Tell students that you have a friend named Jimmy who loves amusement parks. Show a picture of a rollercoaster, and ask students if they have ever been to an amusement park or fair. Tell them to turn and talk to a partner to describe a favorite ride.
- Explain that Jimmy wants to go to the amusement park and ride the rollercoaster, but he read that he must be at least one meter tall to go on the rollercoaster. Ask students how Jimmy can figure out whether or not he will be allowed to go on the rollercoaster.
- Students should respond that Jimmy must measure himself to know whether or not he is tall enough.
- Show students a meter stick and/or one meter length of measuring tape. Think aloud, "If Jimmy is taller than one meter he can go on the ride. If Jimmy is shorter than one meter he can not go to the amusement park because he is not tall enough to go on the ride."
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Explain that it is important that Jimmy measure himself accurately, otherwise he will have gone to the amusement park for no reason. Model the steps to measure yourself using the meter stick. Think aloud, "First I must line up the edge of the meter stick with my feet. Now, I must compare my height to the height of the stick. Yes, I am taller than one meter. I can go on the ride."
- Tell students that today they will practice measuring with centimeter cubes. Tell them to raise their pinky finger, and explain that a centimeter is about the same length as the width of their finger. Have them repeat, "centimeter." Explain that there are 100 centimeters in a meter.
- Model measuring using centimeter cubes. Show students a pencil on the document camera, and "measure" the pencil, but leave gaps between the cubes. Ask students to turn and talk to a partner to decide whether you have measured correctly.
- Students should respond that you have not measured correctly because you can not leave spaces between the cubes.
- Try to "measure" the pencil again, this time not lining up the first cube with the edge of the pencil. Allow students to correct you.
- Think aloud, "Yes, I need to make sure that the edge of the first cubes lines up with the object I am measuring. " Ask students to repeat, "edge," and have them point to the edge of their desk, and the edge of a book.
- Say, "Next I must line up the cubes so they are touching without leaving space between the cubes." Model lining up the cubes accurately to measure the pencil.
- Ask students to tell you the last step to measure the pencil. Students should respond that you need to count the cubes. Remind the students the each cube is one centimeter long. Model counting the cubes (e.g. 10), and write "The pencil is ten centimeters long." Have students read the sentence chorally as you point below the words.
- Display the Vocabulary Cards for reference, and allow time for students to write definitions in Bilingual Glossary (optional).
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Pass out approximately 20 centimeter cubes/ student. Instruct students to line up a cube to check that it is about the same length as the width of their pinky finger.
- Instruct students to follow the steps to measure their own pencil with the cube.
- After students are finished tell them to share the length of their pencil with a partner using the sentence frame, "My pencil is ____ centimeters long."
- Ask students to hold their pencils in the air if their pencil was shorter than the pencil that the teacher measured. Tell them to repeat chorally, "My pencil is shorter than the teacher's pencil."
- Instruct students to raise their pencil if it is longer that the one the teacher measured. Tell them to repeat chorally, "My pencil is longer than the teacher's pencil."
- Ask if any student has a pencil that is the same length as the one the teacher measured. If so, these students can repeat, "My pencil is the same length as the teacher's pencil."
- Create a chart titled, "How to Measure with Centimeter Cubes"
- Choose an object
- Line the first cube up with the edge of the object
- Line up cubes along the side of the object without leaving any spaces between the cubes
- Count the total number of cubes
- Tell students to explain the steps to measure with centimeter cubes to a partner. Have students describe the steps they followed to measure the pencil. Students can check that their partner measured correctly.
- Distribute the Length Measurement worksheet, and project the worksheet on the document camera (or create the chart on the whiteboard). Show students how to write "pencil" in the left column, and instruct them to write the length of their pencil in the right column.
- If needed model further examples of measuring with centimeter cubes, and recording the object name and measurement on the worksheet.
Group work time(10 minutes)
- Provide objects with an obvious length dimension for students to measure. Instruct students to move around the room, and copy the name of the object they are measuring from the index card. Measure the object with the centimeter cubes, and record the measurement on the worksheet.
- As students work, encourage them to compare their measurements with other classmates. Provide sentence frames to support students such as, "I think the ____ is ____ centimeters long. How long do you think the ____ is?"
- Encourage students to verbalize their thinking as they measure. Ask questions such as, "What do you need to do first to measure the paperclip? What do you need to do next? How do you know?"
Additional EL adaptations
- Fill in the worksheet with pictures of the objects the students will measure before copying.
- Pair student with a supportive peer with more developed English-language skills.
- Review number names in English.
- Encourage students to explain the steps to measure using cubes in their own words.
- Prompt students to describe the relative length of different objects using comparative adjectives.
- As students work, prompt them to explain how they know that the measurement is accurate.
- Ask students to imagine that they need to explain the steps to measure using cubes to someone who has never done it before.
- Collect student recording sheets and check for accuracy.
Review and closing(2 minutes)
- Remind students that they used cubes that were one centimeter long, and there are 100 centimeters in a meter.
- Return to the problem from the introduction. Remind students that Jimmy must be at least 1 meter, or 100 centimeters, tall to ride the ride.
- Tell students that Jimmy measured himself and he is 113 centimeters tall. Ask students to give you a thumbs up if they think Jimmy is tall enough to go on the ride.
- Conclude, "Yes, Jimmy is more than one meter tall, so he is tall enough to go on the ride."