(This lesson can be adapted to older students by having them measure to the nearest fraction of an inch)
Begin by reviewing a ruler projected on a screen, showing students both sides of the ruler and noting that one edge shows inches while the other shows centimeters. Tell them they will be measuring with the inches side of the ruler today. Have students estimate in inches how long a strip of paper you hold up might be.
Demonstrate how to measure the strip of paper using the inches side of a ruler. How close were their estimates? Discuss.
Prepare precut strips of construction paper that vary in lengths from 1 to 12 inches. Give each student 6 strips and have them estimate the length of each strip. Have them write their answers on each strip. Next, have them measure the actual length and record on each strip. Let them see how many strips they guessed correctly on. Give each student a sheet of white paper on which they will build a 3D object from their imaginations and glue it into place.
Finally, have them find the total number of inches of paper strips they used to create their objects, and give their artwork a title that includes the number of inches used. (For example: My 40-inch house).
You can also download a PDF version of this game to file away for later here on my site or on TeachersPayTeachers.