Measurement-What is it?
Return to Mathematics Index
Claudy E. Chapman Hartigan School
8 W. Root St.
Chicago IL 60609
The objective of this lesson is 4 fold.
Students will learn:
1. Practical reasons for measurement,
2. The use of various tools for measurement,
3. How and why those tools might be chosen and/or designed,
4. The need for uniformity and agreement on definitions of
The materials for this lesson may vary depending on what you want to measure.
For the purposes of the mini-teach I made a cut out of the following.
In addition you will need index cards.
Demonstration-(time limit 10 minutes)
The teacher asks for a volunteer from the class to be a guinea pig in
The class is then told we are going to measure this student.
Before we can do that, we must ask four very important questions.
1. "What do we want to measure?"
2. "How shall we do it?"
3. "When will we know that we have done it?"
4. "What tools shall we use to measure with?"
The last question put to the class will be
"Why did you pick that tool?"
Hands On Experience-(time limit 15 to 20 minutes)
The class is broken up into teams. Each team consists of the following:
* Speaker (Reporter)- Reports the results of the team to the entire
* Recorder- Records the decisions and the results of the team and
how those decisions were reached. The Recorder also records how
the group interprets their instructions.
* Motivator- Encourages the team forward with positive affirmations
and settles disputes among the members of the team. The Motivator
also makes sure that everyone is doing their job.
* Engineer- Directs the method and use of the measuring tool based on
the instructions of the Speaker. Only the Engineer may measure and
handle the measuring tool.
* Inspectors- Check the work of the engineer and the recorder.
From each group, the Speaker draws from a stack of index cards what their
team is to measure. From another stack of index cards, the Engineer draws
the type of tool their team must use.
Each team must find the area, perimeter and/or volume of their object.
The team must agree on
* the procedure used to measure the object,
* the final result and definition of parts (i.e., lengths, widths,
Review Team results-(time limit 15 minutes)
Each teams measurements are recorded and compared to the measurements of
that item in feet and inches or meters. The measurement tools are then
compared to conventional measuring tools. Observations are made on the
differences and similarities between the design and function of the tools.
Students are graded on:
1. their participation in the discussions;
2. their ability to determine the area and perimeters of objects;
a) using standard measurement tools
b) using standard measurement language
c) using standard units of measurement
3. their ability to apply their prior knowledge to solving measurement
problems when non-standard resources are substituted for
traditional tools and definitions.
Students should be able to apply the rules of measurement, using various
tools and types of units of measures and know which tools and
measurements are applicable for appropriate applications.