July 9, 2015
by Ginger Bruster

Lesson plan

Estimating Length

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the The Language of Estimation pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the The Language of Estimation pre-lesson.

Students will be able to measure and estimate lengths using inches and feet.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that today they will be measuring objects in the classroom.
  • Hold up a ruler and ask students, "What is this?" Allow students a minute to think-pair-share their answers.
  • Clarify that the object is a ruler and it is used to measure objects in inches, a unit of measurement equal to 2.54 cm or about the diameter of a quarter, and feet, a unit of measurement equal to 12 inches or about the height of a folder.
  • Tell the students that sometimes, instead of using a ruler to measure objects, they can estimate instead.
(5 minutes)
  • Show the students a coffee cup. Say, "I'm wondering if this coffee cup is closer to 5 inches or 5 feet tall? How can I figure this out?"
  • Allow a few students to share out their ideas. Clarify that the coffee cup is pretty small, so it's most likely closer to 5 inches than it is to 5 feet. Tell the students that by using their knowledge to figure out that the coffee cup is closer to 5 inches, they are estimating because they aren't actually measuring the coffee cup.
  • Choose a few things in the classroom and ask similar questions using inches and feet.
(10 minutes)
  • Put students in partnerships and provide each pair with a pencil and folder. Reiterate that when we estimate we use information we already know to make an informed decision about the size or amount of something.
  • Ask students to look at the pencils. Say, "I want you to think about if this pencil will be more or less than 12 inches, or 1 foot long." Give students time to discuss their ideas in partnerships. Allow a few partnerships to share out their ideas.
  • Continue the process with the folder and then the student's desk.
  • Explain to the students that next they will complete a worksheet that asks them to estimate objects and determine if they would be closer to a certain amount of feet or inches.
(20 minutes)
  • Instruct students to go back to their desks and pass out the Estimating Length 1 and Estimating Length 2 worksheets to each student.
  • Explain to the students that they will complete these worksheets independently, using their knowledge of inches and feet to support them.

Enrichment: Encourage students to estimate the length of the classroom in feet if time allows.

Support: Allow students to work in partnerships during independent working time.

(5 minutes)
  • Rotate around the classroom as students are finishing their worksheets and provide feedback and support as necessary.
  • Collect student work and use their samples to assess understanding of inches, feet, and estimation.
(5 minutes)
  • Write the following words on the whiteboard: estimate, feet, inches, measurement.
  • Ask students to turn and talk to a partner, explaining what one of the words means in their own words.

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