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.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Measurement Tools pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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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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