Focus On Measurement
I think teaching measurement should be fun because there are so many real world questions kids ask every day that are answered using the vocabulary and concepts of measurement.
- How big am I? How tall? How much do I weigh? How about her?
- They run fast! Who runs faster? How do we know? How much faster? How far did we run?
- How big is our classroom? How big is my house?
This great package of measurement games will get your students asking those same kinds of real world questions. And the games give them fun and creative ways to answer them. Of course they are simple to play and adaptable to any age group (they recommend these measurement activities for 2nd through 8th grade).
It’s called the “Focus On Measurement Bundle” (here is the TPT link). There are 28 games in all.
Here’s some of my personal favorites:
- figuring out how tall is the Eiffel Tower
- finding things that are one meter long
- how long can you make a chain using one piece of paper?
- a card game that teaches you how to shade in a specific area
And there are many more. How many? Let me measure: 24 more to be exact.
There’s another one where students visually estimate the length of another student’s arms and legs. It got me wondering about how well (or not) I can estimate the length of things. And I’ll bet that game could fire up the imagination of your students to try to guess the length of things they see all over the place.
And not only length, but weight, speed, temperature, time, and the other things we can measure.
One of the games has you measure the edible part of an apple. You weigh it whole. Then you eat the apple (except the core, of course). Then you measure what’s left. I’m thinking of doing that with as many different kinds of fruit and veggies we could get. Combine teaching measurement with teaching healthy eating!
Another idea in this bundle that I think is brilliant is the idea of using sporting events (Measurement Olympics is the name) as measurement activities. That’s what sporting events are! How fast, how high, how strong? How many and who has more? This idea is very adaptable, as you can imagine.
Anyway, I could go on and on about these measurement games and activities. I highly recommend them to any teacher!
Here’s a few more Measurement Activities included in this Bundle:
Students will work in pairs. They each need pencils, rulers, bulletin board paper (one sheet for each student big enough to trace bodies), a life-size cut out of Abe Lincoln (Draw and measure this, or ask the art teacher for help!) hung up on the wall as if standing so students can see how tall he actually is.
Review with students how you drew Abe Lincoln and measured his height with a ruler. Review units of measurement (inches, cm, feet, meters). Also, ask students if they know how tall they are.
Have them guess how tall Abe Lincoln is, and share with them that he was 6 feet 4 inches tall and the tallest president ever. This was a time when the average height for men was 5 feet 6 inches. At age 17, he was already this tall, and a great athlete. He weighed between 160 and 185 pounds, so he was very thin for his height.
Ask a few students to stand next to your cut out on the wall and compare heights. Arrange students into pairs and have them take turns tracing each other on butcher paper. Have them measure their height from head to toe in inches. (Older students might convert that height to feet and inches). Each student should write his or her height on their cut out.
Have students subtract their height in inches from Abe’s height in inches. Older students might subtract their height in feet and inches from Abe’s height of 6’ 4”. Finally, students can Dress their cut outs and decorate them, and they can be displayed in the hallways alongside Abe!
This game will help students learn to measure by practicing on various objects. Write down a list of different measurements, such as 1 inch, 6 inches, 2 feet, 1 yard and give students a copy of the list.
Students will walk around the classroom or playground and try to find objects that match these measurements. The first student to finish the list wins the game.
This Estimate ‘N Measure game gives kids the opportunity to measure an irregular shape. Some kids may never have thought about how they could find the length of something that they can’t use a ruler to measure.
Teachers or parents can have students use this game with either the US standard of inches or the metric centimeters for the measurements of the lengths. You may want to just ask them an open-ended question at the beginning to see if they come up with the idea of using a simple piece of string to keep track of the total length.
The other thing that kids will learn pretty quickly is that it’s important for them to be accurate with the way they mark tic marks on the figure. Measuring requires precision so it’s necessary to be careful with how the string is aligned with the figure. Using the ruler to measure the string also requires attention to detail. It’s very easy to lay the string down in a way that causes inaccuracies in the final measurements.
Kids will be hoping that “lady luck” smiles upon them so that their roll of the die will yield a larger number. They’ll want to move around the figure faster. A teacher or parent will definitely be needed to check measurements here and there to ensure that they are correct.
After they finish the supplied figures, give them the opportunity to draw some wild and wacky figures of their own. They’ll make them really complicated if they think their opponents are doing the measuring. It’s kind of fun to turn things around and let them measure the complicated designs themselves instead of allowing them to hand them off to someone else!
The Pythagorean Rules! Game gives kids the opportunity to practice solving the Pythagorean equation, which states that the square of the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other sides.
You could use this as an exploratory activity by having students roll their dies and calculate the measurement of the hypotenuse of each right triangle by using a ruler. Once they have played a number of games have them organize their summary data in a chart. You could list the measurements of side A, side B, and side C (hypotenuse) in the chart. Have the students speculate about the patterns shown by these measurements. Put up all their conjectures before showing them the equation for the Pythagorean Theorem. A visual proof would be a great extension of the game as well.
The luck of the toss will determine if one student wins over another since it’s the length of the hypotenuse that determines the winner.
In addition to testing students’ understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem, this game also tests their precision with measurement. They need to measure the hypotenuse to determine its length and then categorize it before determining what score is appropriate. Let the opponents check each other’s work to ensure that no one is trying to bend the rules of the game!
If you are going to use this game as an introduction to your teaching of the Pythagorean Theorem, it’s a good idea to compare the measured answers to the ones computed by using the actual theorem. Which method will bring a more accurate answer and why?
As mentioned in the adaptation suggestions, you could also use this as a springboard for discussing Pythagorean triples, such as 3, 4, and 5.
Focus on Measurement
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