Lesson plan

Measurement Madness

This math lesson is filled with fun hands-on non-standard measurement activities! The lesson begins with an interactive story then has students explore measurement using several different objects as their tools!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Measure with Cubes pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Measure with Cubes pre-lesson.

Students will be able to use forms of non-standard measurement to measure various objects.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students to close their eyes and imagine that they are going on a trip. The trip they are going on is to an island, so they are going to need a raft to get there. Have students think about what size raft they would need for their trip. Ask them how they would build it.
  • Have students open their eyes.
  • Ask students to share their ideas with their partner or group.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell students that they are going to start their math lesson by listening to a story about two friends who need to build a raft. Ask them to pay close attention to how they plan to build it.
  • Play Muggo's Raft.
  • Ask questions about why Muggo's raft was a different size than the one Chipmunk built.
  • Show students your "raft" made of bulletin board paper.
  • Model measuring the raft with your feet. Have students count along as you take each step.
  • Invite a few volunteers to measure the raft with their feet. Record their measurements on the board.
  • Ask students why all of the measurements are different. Ask students how they can measure so that everyone gets the same answer.
  • Tell students that using the same person's foot would definitely get everyone the same answer. Let students know that using a ruler is another great option, but today the class is going to focus on using non-standard measurement, which means using objects we wouldn't typically use.
(10 minutes)
  • Introduce the unit of non-standard measurement students will be using, these would either be manipulatives or the cutouts from the Measure Me worksheet.
  • Model how to measure an object explicitly showing how to put the measuring tools down then moving one at a time while counting.
  • Pass out the Measure Me recording sheet. Model and instruct students to write or draw the measurement tool at the top of each column.
  • Explain that students will be measuring objects around the room first with one type of measurement tool and then with another.
  • Walk around the room to show students where the Measure Me objects are located.
  • Model using a measurement tool to measure and record answers on the recording sheet.
(25 minutes)
  • Split the class in half, giving one half tool #1 and one half tool #2.
  • Assign a few students to each measurement location and begin.
  • Once your students are finished, have them rotate to the next location. Repeat until they have had the opportunity to measure each object with their first measurement tool.
  • Switch measurement tools and repeat.
  • Enrichment: Have students make predictions before measuring the actual size.
  • Support: Pair struggling students to work with a partner.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the How Long? worksheet and read the directions aloud.
  • Distribute paperclips to each student.
  • Collect worksheets as students finish.
(5 minutes)
  • Review Measure Me recording sheet results.
  • Discuss possible reasons students had slightly different answers. Example: not measuring back to back, measuring the wrong side.
  • Ask students why it is important that everyone uses the same form of measurement. Have students turn and talk to a partner.
  • Have students share their responses.

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