Lesson plan

Inches, All Around!

Look out! Measurement is all around us! In this lesson, students will learn about measuring tools and how to use them. Students will work cooperatively on a fun measurement hunt, exploring and applying concepts of measurement using inches.
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Students will be able to select appropriate measurement tools for measurement, including rulers, yardsticks, and measuring tapes. Students will be able to accurately measure lengths in inches.

(5 minutes)
  • Display the “Inches” song on an interactive whiteboard, or write it on chart paper for the students to see.
  • Sing the song to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” and invite students to sing along.
  • As you sing the word that matches a measuring tool, hold up that measuring tool to introduce its name to the students. For example, when you sing the word “ruler,” hold up a ruler.
  • After singing the song with the students, tell the students that they will be learning how to measure objects using different tools that have inch units.
  • Tell your students that a unit is a specific length of measurement, and show the students an example of a one inch unit.
(10 minutes)
  • Using the different lengths of ribbon, model the process of selecting the appropriate measurement tool, (ruler, yardstick, or measuring tape) and measure each piece of ribbon accurately.
  • Emphasize the importance of aligning the measurement tool properly and ensuring that the length being measured is not in the middle of the measuring tool.
  • Students can often get confused with starting points of measurement and aligning measurement tools in the appropriate location. Some students initially think that a measurement begins right at the number 1 on the ruler, so emphasize the importance of allowing a full inch at the beginning of the measurement.
  • Using different objects in the classroom, model the process of choosing the correct measuring tool. For example, if you choose to measure the length of a pencil, explain that you chose a ruler rather than a yardstick because it's smaller.
  • Continue with larger objects, such as the length of a desk or the height of the door.
  • Model at least one example with each measuring tool.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to practice measuring objects on the Inch by Inch worksheet.
  • Circulate around the room to ensure that students are using the rulers to measure the lengths correctly.
  • If students have difficulty measuring due to incorrect placement of the ruler, reteach as needed until students grasp the concept of correct measurements.
  • Play the “I Spy Something I would Measure with….” Invite the students to play a naming game.
  • Ask students to name objects that they could measure with a ruler.
  • Repeat the game with the other measurement tools.
  • When students are comfortable with matching objects with measurement tools and can do so accurately, proceed to the independent working time.
(20 minutes)
  • Continue the lesson with a fun measurement (scavenger) hunt! As desired, have the students either take a picture of objects they measure or create a drawing.
  • Explain to the students that they will be working in groups to measure objects around the school using correct measurement tools.
  • Tell the students that they will be passing the paper and taking turns contributing to the project.
  • Review scavenger hunt directions and the graphic organizer that will be used to record answers.
  • Explain that each student will be responsible for finding and measuring one object and that each group should use all three measuring tools.
  • Assign students to groups of three to four students each.
  • Give each group a set of measurement tools (a ruler, a yardstick, and a measuring tape), one clipboard, one group recording sheet, one pencil, and a digital camera, if desired.
  • Have your students look around the classroom or school and find objects that can be measured with the specified tools.
  • Have students work in groups to record their measurements, objects, and justification for using specific measurement tools. An additional customizable page is provided in case you want to ask students to do more than one object each.
  • If students are using a digital camera rather than drawing the objects, have the students create a digital presentation of their findings, using photos from the scavenger hunt. Have the students prepare their findings so that they can present them to their classmates.
  • Enrichment: Assign the Let’s Measure worksheet. Ask your students to measure the different parts of the house drawing and record the measurements. Challenge the students to create their own drawings or artwork that include lines with different lengths. Have the students measure the lines that are a part of their drawings or artwork.
  • Support: Assist students in aligning rulers on the worksheets, or ask students to show the placement of measuring tools. Model adjustments in using the measuring tool to measure accurately if students make errors. Have the students count along with you as you point to the numbers on the ruler.
  • Have students take pictures of the items they measure, along with the measurement tools being used.
  • Students can later use these pictures as a part of a presentation using Google Slides or PowerPoint.
  • Using Google Draw or Paint, have the students create drawings using a variety of lines, and then print the drawings for students to find the measurements.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student a Measure the Narwhal worksheet as an assessment.
  • Have the students turn the paper over and list three objects that would need to be measured by a ruler, yardstick, and measuring tape.
(10 minutes)
  • Have the class sit in a large circle in a central place in the room.
  • Using either electronic presentations of pictures or drawings, go around the circle and have each student share the objects that they measured, the measurement, and the tool that they used to find that specific measurement.
  • Encourage students to justify their answers.
  • As time permits, question students about why they didn’t choose certain tools of measurement for specific objects.

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