Lesson plan

How Big is the Playground?

Get out the measuring tape and head outside! In this lesson, students gather measurement data and build a model of the school playground.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Many Measurement Tools pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Many Measurement Tools pre-lesson.

Students will use measuring tape to collect measurement data.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Show students the measuring tape. Ask if anyone knows what it is or what it’s used for.
  • Explain that measuring tape is used to measure large items and spaces.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that today they will be learning how to measure the width of something.
  • Define width as the distance from one side of something to the other side. Find a familiar classroom object and show the width by moving your hands side to side. Reiterate that width measures how wide something is.
  • Call on a student to be your partner. That student should hold the measuring tape in place at the wall of the classroom.
  • Demonstrate how to pull the measuring tape out, mark where you left off, and then measure again, adding the length of the measuring tape as needed.
  • Continue this process until the width of the classroom is measured, and write the final measurement on the whiteboard.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that they are going to measure the width of the playground, but before they do so, you want them to practice using the measuring tape to measure objects!
  • Divide students into groups of two to four. Give each group a measuring tape and have them practice using it to measure objects around the classroom.
(20 minutes)
  • Hand out a clipboard to each group. On the clipboard, have students draw a rectangle on paper and identify the sides of the playground that they will measure when they are outside.
  • Instruct students to take the clipboard, paper, pencil, and measuring tape outside. When outside, have groups work together to measure the length and width of the playground.

Enrichment: Have students measure additional items on the playground.

Support: Have students measure a smaller item outside instead of the entire playground.

(5 minutes)
  • Have students share their measurements with the class.
(5 minutes)
  • End class by having students discuss why they did/did not get the same answers when they measured.

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