Lesson Plan

How Big Is It?

Your young scientists will have tons of fun visiting measurement stations and using tools to measure various objects. They'll even be able to create posters at the end of the activity.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Measurement Tools pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Measurement Tools pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

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.


  • Label each of the objects and tools. Ask students to give you a thumbs up if they recognize any of the measurement tools. Tell students to turn and talk to a partner to describe a place where they have seen a measurement tool.
  • Provide a sentence frame: "The ________ could be used to measure ________."


  • Tell students to discuss which tools could be used to measure an object (e.g. a dictionary) with a partner.
  • Teach students that different tools measure different attributes. The scale measures with weight of the dictionary, while the ruler measures the length and width of the dictionary. Model measuring the same object using more than one tool.