Lesson plan

Measuring Popsicles!

Teach your students the early concepts of measuring with a ruler and comparing lengths with this hands-on lesson. Students use popsicle sticks to measure magazine cutouts using comparative adjectives such as big, bigger, and biggest.
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Students will be able to compare lengths and arrange objects by size.

(5 minutes)
  • Begin by asking students to gather around you in a circle.
  • Pick a student to come to the middle of the circle and toss the throwing object towards another student sitting in the circle.
  • Tell the student that was picked that they must find someone that is taller than the person standing in the middle.
  • When the student chooses someone, have that new person stand next to the person in the middle and have the students decide if they are in fact taller by giving you a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
  • Continue the game by tossing the object to another student and changing the series of questions while making sure that they are all related to length using the words longer, shorter, smaller, bigger, taller, and shorter.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that you just used adjectives to compare length. Write "adjective" and "length" on the board.
  • Ask students to turn to their partners and discuss the meaning of the two words.
  • After a whole group discussion, define the word adjective as a word that is used to describe a person, place, or thing. Define the word length as the measure of an object from one end to the other end or how long something is.
  • Ask students if they can think of the words that were used in the game to describe the length of everyone’s hair, feet, or height. Answers should be along the lines of: bigger, taller, shortest, and so on.
  • Begin to underline the suffixes –er and –est under each of the corresponding words.
  • Inform students that whenever those suffixes are attached to an adjective there are comparisons involved, and in this case they were comparing length.
(15 minutes)
  • Issue a marker and popsicle sticks to each student.
  • Tell them that today they are going to use the popsicle sticks and adjectives to measure and compare lengths.
  • Have students label their popsicle sticks according to the images on the Labeling and Using Popsicle Sticks worksheet.
  • Demonstrate how to use the popsicle sticks to measure and compare lengths and have the students practice by measuring things from their crayon boxes or desk.
(30 minutes)
  • Provide each student with a magazine and a copy of the What’s My Length? worksheet and monitor as they use their popsicle sticks to measure and compare objects within the magazine to complete the worksheet.
  • Enrichment: Challenge above level students by providing them with rulers after they’ve completed their worksheets and having them measure the objects lengths in inches.
  • Support: You can help below level students by providing them with solid objects that they can touch and measure.
(5 minutes)
  • Grade the What’s My Length? worksheet to evaluate your students' understanding.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students turn to their nearest partner and answer the following 2 questions:
  • What does the word "length" mean?
  • Name an adjective that you used today.

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