August 23, 2015
by Arlene Birt

Lesson plan

How Big Is It?

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Measurement Tools pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Measurement Tools pre-lesson.

Students will be able to determine the purposes of different measuring tools and complete measurements using those tools.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Display a large box containing a big pencil, scale, thermometer, ruler, can of soda, measuring cup, picture of iceberg, and a dictionary.
  • Direct the students to sort the objects in some way, guiding them as needed to sort the tools into a group and the objects that could be measured into a group.
  • Review the units of measure and tools of measure.
  • Match the objects to the tools that would be used to measure them.
(15 minutes)
  • Draw students' attention to the stations in the room, informing them that there are stations with objects and tools.
  • They will select one object from each station and decide how to measure it.
  • They will determine what tool to use and what unit of measure to use.
  • Have them measure the object and record the measurement and unit on note paper, also noting the tool that was used.
  • To make the poster, students will divide their papers into fourths, tracing over the fold lines.
  • They should use one section for each measurement.
  • Glue the object in a section and write its measurement and the unit of measure.
  • Write a sentence telling what was measured, what the measurement and unit are, and what tool was used.
  • If the object cannot be glued on, it should be illustrated.
  • Students may start with any object. They will make a section for each question: "How long is this?" "How heavy is this?" "How much will this hold?" and "What temperature is this?"
  • Display these questions on the board.
  • Model thinking about the questions.
  • Assign students to work in teacher-determined pairs, with each pair making a poster.
  • Hand out the rubrics and go over each point, giving any needed explanations.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the poster paper and have the students fold it and trace the lines.
  • Encourage students to think about their learning and to work together nicely.
  • Direct students to begin moving about the room to the set-up stations.
(25 minutes)
  • Circulate the room, giving advice, monitoring, guiding, and helping as needed.
  • Take notes on student work.
  • Students will travel to the stations, choose the objects, attach or draw them on the poster, and write their sentences.
  • Enrichment: Have advanced students ask three adults how they use measurement in their jobs or day-to-day lives. The students should take notes on the conversation and report on it in the conference at the completion of the project.
  • Support: Show struggling students a large crayon and a broken crayon. Discuss which is longer and how the crayons could be measured. Lead a short discussion about the posters, debriefing and taking questions or comments. Also, consider having these students do three sections of the paper rather than four.
(20 minutes)
  • Do formative assessment while the students are working. Circulate the room and observe the work.
  • Take notes on their knowledge and application of learning.
  • Note which tools and units of measure are being used and how the students are collaborating.
  • Check the posters, making sure all parts are completed, and fill out the rubric.
  • Conference with the pairs of students. Assess their verbal explanations of the process of measurement, and finish the rubric.
  • Display the posters.
  • Add the notes and rubric to the children's files.
(10 minutes)
  • Travel to the stations yourself, hold up objects, and ask what tool would be used for measuring each item.
  • Show the cards with the measurement terms and have the students match the terms and tools.

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