Measuring Distances Lesson Plan

Subject area: Mathematics
Grade level: 3rd Grade
MN math standards: Measure distances around objects.
Objectives: For students to learn how to measure around objects using measuring tape and rulers.
Time to be used: 40 minutes

List of materials:
• Rulers
• Measuring tape
• Pencil

Teaching process:
Before the lesson:
• Put rulers and measuring tapes out on the front table.
• Ask the students to share what they know about measurement. Ask them to brainstorm a list of measurement units and have them describe when those units are used.
• Give students a list of random objects (cotton balls, combs, pencils) and ask them to discuss whether or not they feel these objects would make good units of measurement. Have students explain why they feel these objects would work (or not).
• Have the students imagine that they live in a world where there are no systems of measurement. Ask them to brainstorm the different things they might realistically use to create a system of measurement.
• Have the students get a ruler for themselves and three measuring tapes per table up at the front table then sit down.

During the lesson:
Review with student’s different units of measurement and what they are each used to measure:
• Inches, feet, yards, miles — Used to measure distance
• Ounces, pounds, tons — Used to measure weight
• Fluid ounces, cups, pints, quarts, gallons — Used to measure volume
Have students come up with items that could be measured with each of the different units of measure above in their math notebooks.
• Have students pair up in partners of two and record the measurements of each other’s wrists, arms, legs, head, fingers, hands, and feet in their notebook.
• After they have completed that assignment, split the class into four groups total and give them a challenge to measure the whole distance around the classroom using only their rulers and bodies for measurement tools.
• Have the students share their results with everyone by presenting in front of the classroom.
• Have the students put away rulers and materials back up front and sit at their original desks.

After the lesson:
• Ask students what they learned today.
• Why is measurement important? What is the best way to measure longer distances? What is the best measurement to use for small objects? Does estimating distances help?

Assessment: Have students rip out their two pages of math notes and results from their notebook and turn it in to the front basket on the teachers desk.
Closure: Today we learned how to measure distances around objects and tomorrow we will use half units when measuring distances such as measuring a person's height to the nearest half inch.