Students will

The class will need the following:


Have students convert the measurements on the Classroom Activity Sheet to metric units and then solve the problems. The following Web sites show how to convert between the English and the metric systems of measurement.
To convert from English to metric:
To convert from metric to English: 

Use the following threepoint rubric to evaluate how well students measure, how well they estimate, and how well they describe the strategies they used to solve the problems.

How Many Do You Think? Pose the challenge of estimating how many pennies lined up end to end it would take to make 1 yard. Then ask a few students to arrange a row of pennies along a yardstick. Continue estimating with other objects and lengths, such as the following:
Estimation Contest Set up an estimation contest. Post a question about a length that you know but that students can only estimate. Examples: What is the height of the flagpole in front of the school? What is the length of the rope hanging from the ceiling of the gym? What is the height of the basketball hoop? Provide a shoebox for students to submit their estimates, and ask them to include their names. At the end of the contest, tell students the actual length and honor the students with the first, second, and thirdclosest estimates. Secret Destination Have students work in groups of two or three to choose a starting place and a secret destination. Possibilities include the door of the classroom, a certain tree in the schoolyard, a mark on the gym floor, and a gate in the schoolyard. Ask each group to make a map from the starting point to the destination that shows measurements, including inches, feet, and yards. Arrange for groups to trade maps to see whether the other groups can find their way to the secret destinations. One Step at a Time Have students work in pairs to measure their stride, or the distance from the heel of one foot to the heel of the other foot after taking one step. Have each student answer the questions below.

Yearbooks in Science, 19301939 Nathan Aaseng. Twenty First Century Books, 1995.E9 Covering important scientific events of the 1930s, this book includes the development of new ways to measure distance using sound and light waves, and the inventions that followed: radar, electron microscopes, and radio telescopes. For Good Measure: The Most Complete Guide to Weights and Measures and Their Metric Equivalents William D. Johnstone. NTC Publishing, 1998 If you want to know how to measure anything anywhere in the world, here's your book! Learn how length, surface, volume, weight, electricity, metrics, and "diverse units" like pressure, energy, and speed are measured here in the United States and in other countries. There's even a chapter on measurement in music and verse! The entries contain small paragraphs with the history of the particular measurement. A wealth of information is contained in this relatively modest paperback and is extremely well indexed. 
approximate Definition: Fairly close to the actual but not quite accurate. Context: Ben's mom estimated that hisapproximateheight was 5 feet. distance Definition: The space between two points. Context: Thedistancebetween New Orleans and Chicago is 927 miles. estimate Definition: To make a rough or approximate calculation. Context: The designerestimatedthat the room had 10foot ceilings. exact Definition: Accurate, precise. Context: The architect used a tape measure to obtain anexactmeasurement. foot (plural: feet) Definition: A unit of length equal to 12 inches. Context: Originally, afootwas the length of the king's foot, but now it is a standard unit of length equal to 12 inches, or onethird of a yard. length Definition: The distance from one end to the other of the longest side of an object. Context: Thelengthof a hockey field is 100 yards, and its width is 60 yards. linear Definition: Relating to, consisting of, or resembling a line. Context: Thelinearmeasurement of an object is its length. 
This lesson plan may be used to address the academic standards listed below. These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K12 Education: 2nd Edition and have been provided courtesy of theMidcontinent Research for Education and Learningin Aurora, Colorado. Grade level: 68 Subject area: Mathematics Standard: Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of measurement. Benchmarks: Solves problems involving units of measurement and converts answers to a larger or smaller unit within the same system (i.e., standard or metric). Grade level: 68 Subject area: Mathematics Standard: Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of measurement. Benchmarks: Selects and uses appropriate units and tools, depending on the degree of accuracy required, to find measurements for realworld problems. Grade level: 68 Subject area: Mathematics Standard: Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of measurement. Benchmarks: Selects and uses appropriate estimation techniques (e.g., overestimate, underestimate, and range of estimates) to solve realworld problems. 
Lyn Cowan, freelance mathematics writer and editor, Toronto, Canada. 
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