Lesson Plan : Making Rulers

Teacher Name:
 Rebecca Borowski
 Grade 1

 Measuring in inches
 The learner will demonstrate application of measurement by using a ruler to measure and record the length of objects in inches.
 The learner will measure the length of objects using inch tiles. The learner will use use inch tiles to build his/her own ruler. The learner will use a self-made ruler to measure the length of objects.
 Inch tiles (square inch pieces of thick paper) - at least 6 per student. Ruler bases (sentence strips) Glue Various objects for measuring
 Pass out a ruler to each student. Ask them what they notice about the ruler. Students are likely to say that it has lots of lines. Ask them what all of the lines mean. Allow time for student discussion. Tell students that these lines on a ruler actually show different units of measurement. Tell them that in first grade, we really only use 2 units for measuring length - inches and centimeters. All of the lines on the ruler show lots of other units - half inches, eighths of inches, etc. Because we don't use those units in first grade, this ruler can be really confusing sometimes! All the lines on this ruler can make it hard to figure out how long in inches something really is. So today, we are going to create our own "inches only" first grade friendly rulers.
 Pass out inch tiles to the students. Tell the students that each of these tiles is an inch long and an inch wide. Tell students that you can use these tiles to measure how long something is. Have each student measure how many inches long their ruler is. Then, have students measure another object. Remind students that the unit we're using today is inches - we're not using half inches or any other unit. So if the object we're measuring isn't exactly a certain number of inches, we round to the nearest inch. That pencil may be 4 inches, and part of another inch. Does it look like it's closer to 4 inches long or 5 inches long? You (student) get to decide!
 Now that students have had lots of time to measure objects with their inch tiles, pass out the ruler bases to the students. Tell them that we're going to glue these inch tiles to the ruler base. When we are finished, we will have a ruler that helps us measure in inches. Then, instead of having to line up all of these inch tiles, we can just line up the ruler! Give students plenty of time to glue the tiles down along one side of their ruler base.
 Some students may need help glueing the tiles to the base. Some students may struggle with tiling the tiles correctly, without overlapping and leaving gaps. Have these students work with a partner or an adult while creating their rulers. Some students may struggle using the ruler and lining it up correctly after they are finished creating it. Have these students work with a partner or small group.
Checking For Understanding:
 Set up a "Measuring Station" in the back of the room by setting out 7 objects that students can measure the lengths of using their self-made rulers. Over the next couple of days, have students go to the Measuring Station one at a time. While they are there, they should work independently to measure each object and record the length of each on a "Measuring Mania" sheet created by the teacher. When they are finished, they will hand in the sheet to the teacher. The teacher uses the Measuring Mania as formal assessment to determine whether students are able to efficiently and accurately measure the length of objects in inches.
 Ask students what they've learned by creating their own rulers. Tell them to explain what it means to measure the length of something in inches. What is an inch? (An inch is a unit of space with a starting and ending place.) Hold up a traditional ruler. Ask students how their ruler is different from this ruler. Discuss. Ask students to show an inch on this ruler. (Students should be able to show a length of space that is an inch - not a line on the ruler.) Extend the lesson by using the other side of the student-made rulers to create a centimeter ruler.
 Students should be able to efficiently and accurately measure the length of objects in inches. Students should also understand what an inch is and be able to show where an inch is on a traditional ruler.
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