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Lesson Plan Title : Introducing a standard unit of measure: the foot

Age Range:

Kindergarten through Grade 2 (Primary / Elementary School)

Overview and Purpose:

This activity will introduce the concept of a standard unit of measure. Students will measure various objects in the classroom using their own feet and a ruler. By comparing their results with their classmates, they will be able to see the value of a standard unit of measure.

Objective:

The student will be able to:

*describe why a standard unit of measure is important.

*measure three objects using both his feet and a ruler and record the length on a chart.

Resources:

Masking tape line on the floor measuring exactly 1 foot long (one for each group of 3 students)

2x4 cut to exactly 3 feet (one for each group of three students)

2x4 cut to exactly 2 feet

PVC pipe cut to exactly 4 feet (one for each group of three students)

Teacher created worksheet for students to record their measurements (one per student)

One ruler for each child

Activities:

Introduce the lesson by holding up a 2 foot long 2x4 and asking the students to name different things they could use to measure it (i.e. matchbox car, block, hands). Discuss why those items might give people different answers (i.e. different people might choose different blocks or people's hands might be different sizes). Ask two students to come up and measure the 2x4 by walking heel to toe next to it. Record the different measurements on a piece of chart paper.

Divide students into groups of three and have the members of each group measure a 2x4, pvc pipe, and masking tape line by walking heel to toe next to each item. They should each record the measurements on their worksheet. After the groups are finished come back together and discuss the results as a class.

Introduce the ruler and explain how it measures items in feet. Discuss what that means. Have two students come up and help you measure the 2 foot 2x4 using rulers. Record the answer on the chart paper.

Give each child a ruler and have them measure each of their items on their worksheet again using the rulers. (Encourage them to work together to measure the longer items.) When the groups are finished come back together and discuss the results. Compare the measurements on the chart paper and on their worksheets and have the students decide whether using a ruler or a person's foot is more accurate.

Closure:

This activity is a fun way for students to learn about a standard unit of measure. Extension activities for more advanced students can involve creating their own standard unit of measure, estimating how long objects are, and exploring other units of measure.

Homework can include more items on the teacher created worksheet that can be measured at home. These items might include the couch, bathtub, or bed.

Example of the chart for the teacher created worksheet:

Record how long each item is my measuring it with your feet.

Object
First Student: Ryan
Second Student: Sarah
Third Student: Alex
Piece of wood
5 People feet
7 People feet
6 People feet
Piece of pipe
     
Masking tape
     

 

Record how long each item is my measuring it with your ruler.

Object
First Student: Ryan
Second Student: Sarah
Third Student: Alex
Piece of wood
3 feet
3 feet
3 feet
Piece of pipe
     
Masking tape
     

 

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