EL Support Lesson
Students will be able to identify objects that are shorter, longer or about the same length as a one foot piece of string.
Students will be able to describe the relative length of different items using comparatives with sentence frame and partner support.
- Tell students that the principal has asked for their help figuring out how long it takes them to evacuate during a fire drill.
- Instruct students to line up at the door. Notice which student is closest to the door.
- Have that student hold the end of a piece of string. Use the string to measure the distance between that students and the door. Cut the string, and tell students, "We just measured the length of the distance between Student A (use actual student's name) and the door."
- Next, follow the procedure to measure the length of the distance between that student at the end of the line, Students B, and the door.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Call students back to the rug. Line up the edges of the cut strings, and tape the two pieces of string to the board, one under the other. Compare the length of the strings.
- Notice that the length of the distance between Student A and the door is shorter because that student lines up closer to the door. Have students repeat "shorter" while gesturing with their hands close together.
- Point out that the length of the distance between Student B and the door is longer because that student lines up farthest from the door. Have students repeat "longer" while gesturing with their hands far apart.
- Think aloud, "Student B will need more time to get out of the building, because they have to walk a longer distance from their spot in line to the door."
- Consider a student who was in the middle of the line. Think aloud, "I would not need to measure the distance between Student C and the door using string. I know that Student C is between Student A and Student B. The length of the distance between Student C (who stands in the middle of the line) and the door will be less than the distance between Student B (who stands at the end of the line) and the door.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Tape a one foot ruler to the board, and tell students that today they will practice measuring length. By measuring the length of something they will find out how long it is.
- Tell students that you want to measure a piece of string. Ask what would be the first step to measure the string using the ruler.
- Model lining up a 1 foot piece of string with the edge of the ruler. Next, stretch the string along the ruler.
- Tell the students that the ruler is one foot long. A foot is a standard unit of measurement, which means that many people use that unit to measure. Have students give you a thumbs up if they have ever measured with a ruler.
- Explain that since the string and the ruler are the same length, we know that the string is one foot long.
- Distribute a one-foot length of string to partners to use as a target unit. Instruct students to search the classroom to find five objects that are shorter than one foot, five objects that are longer than one foot, and five objects that are about one foot long.
- Model using a few objects. Show students a pencil. Say, "I know just by looking that this pencil will be shorter than one foot. But, in math it is not enough to just know this, I need to prove it."
- Ask students how you can prove that the pencil is shorter than one foot. Review the steps for carefully aligning the edge of the pencil to the edge of the string. Then compare the lengths.
- Think aloud, "I just proved that the pencil is shorter than one foot by lining up the edges exactly and comparing the lengths of the pencil to the length of the string."
- Display Vocabulary Cards, and instruct students to record words in Bilingual Glossary (optional).
Group work time(10 minutes)
- Display a large piece of chart paper divided into thirds and label the columns: "Shorter than One Foot," "About the Same Length as One Foot," and "Longer than One Foot."
- Model finding and measuring objects in the classroom. Record each object's length relative to one foot in the appropriate category.
- Distribute the Measurement Hunt worksheet for students to record the items that they measure.
- Review the expectations for partner work. One student will choose an object in the room. Students will predict whether the object is shorter than, longer than, or about the same length as the unit of measurement, one foot.
- Provide the sentence frames:
- "The ____ is shorter than one foot."
- "The ____ is longer than the one foot."
- "The ____ is about the same length as one foot."
- Check for understanding of "about the same length" by showing students a few examples. Choose items such as a book or folder that are approximately one foot long to show students what is meant by "about the same length."
- One partner should line up the edge of an object with the piece of string.
- The other student should record the relative length of the object on the paper using words or a picture.
- Partners should switch roles, and the other partner should choose an object to measure with the string.
- Set a timer for ten minutes. Students should try to find at least five objects for each category within ten minutes.
Additional EL adaptations
- Provide students with a preselected group of items to measure with the string.
- Pair student with a supportive peer with more developed English-language skills.
- Encourage students to verbalize their thinking as they search for objects to measure.
- Support students to write the name of the object measured rather than just drawing a picture.
- Students can choose one item from each category and draw a picture comparing the item to the string. Instruct students to write three sentences describing their findings using the chart and sentence frames for support.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Give students time to identify one object from each category to share with the class.
- As students provide examples of items shorter than, longer than, and about the same length as the string, compile their ideas on the chart.
- Have students give a thumbs up if they measured the same items as another partnership.
- Display the chart in the classroom for reference.