Return to Physics IndexMeasurement

Tina Hudson Garrett A. Morgan

8407 S. Kerfoot

Chicago IL 60620

(312) 535-3366Objectives:

The main objective of my Mini-teach is to introduce and review the use of

the Standard Metric System. After which, students will be introduced to

alternative ways to measure distance, time, and temperature. My lesson will be

targeted to fourth and fifth graders. My main focus is to allow students to use

parts of their bodies to calculate measurements of different objects and areas

of space. The activities will be designed to lead the students to an

understanding of the measuring system presented. The students will then be able

to graph and use their informational data to compare with the other students.

The students will begin with the definition of a Basic Measurement. A Basic

Measurement is the distance between two points that can be measured and may be

named length, width, height, radius or diameter. In order to use body parts for

measuring, the Standard Metric system should be primarily taught. This will

help the student and improve his understanding for measuring with alternatives.

I am going to work with the simple idea that the distance between two points can

be measured.Strategy:

INTRODUCTION

Two students are asked to open the activity with volunteering to participate

in the unannounced subject. They are each given a Superball. In class there

are two stairways, where the students are going to engage in a race to the top

of the stairs using the Superball. They are to bounce the Superball once on

each step as they race to the top. The other students are asked to clap their

hands as a measuring tool for time. The recorder announces a winner, which is

the student who has made it to the top of the stairs using the least amount of

claps. The instructor should not dictate to the students the rhythm or how to

clap their hands. The observation point is to watch and listen to the way the

students will or will not cooperate with one another concerning the rhythm. Now

the students should be asked what they think they just accomplished. The

rounded response may be: calculated time by using their body parts, which were

their hands.

Students may now be told that their body parts can be used as measuring

devices. The remaining activities will allow the students to participate in fun

activities that involve measuring length, distance, and temperature, using their

own body parts.

Activity: MEASURING THE WHITE BOARDS

Using the span of their hands, the students will create their own hand

ruler. Each student will use a undefined length of register tape paper and

measure the span of their hand. They will mark the paper after each hand

measurement. The length may be any that they desire. This will promote

interest on how the students will measure the white boards. If one student

measures 10 (ten) hand spans and another measures 5 (five) hand spans, then they

should realize that the one with the shorter hand ruler will have to add twice

as many times as the other.

When students have completed this activity, they should see the resulting

data and notice that all hand measurements are not the same. This will promote

questions as to why the hand measurements were different. The instructor can

now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using your body parts as an

alternative to the Standard Metric System. Some answers that evolved

were:everyone has different hand sizes, some small, some big, you always have

your body parts with you as an advantage.

Activity: BODY LENGTH OF THE ROOMEach student will now use their actual body length to measure as a measuring tool to calculate the length of their classroom. Students will choose a partner and one student will lay on the floor closest to a wall to start measurement. The other student will place his foot at the end of the student's foot who is lying down. The end of the student's foot will be a measurement of one complete body for that student. The group will repeat this until the group has measured the entire length of the room, one way. Students are then advised to try this at home and measure different parts of their home with their body length, with the help of another.Activity: MEASURE GRASS LENGTH USING YOUR FOOT

Promote discussion on shoe sizes. Explain that they vary, and that women

shoe sizes are different from men shoe sizes. Students will go outside. Each

child will use their own foot measurement to measure the length of the grass.

They will start at the edge of the grass, putting one foot in front of the other

and count until the distance is completed. Complete and compare the data with

other students.

Activity: MEASURING TEMPERATUREStudents are asked to use body parts to calculate a general estimate of temperature. Materials used includes a cup of hot water, a can of cold pop, and a warm towel. Students will touch each object, telling the other students which objects are warmer and colder without using a thermometer. Students will discuss results and realize that they just used their body parts to measure temperature. Some students may experiment and us different body parts to measure temperature. Some students used their fingers, tongue, and jaw cheeks.Assessment:

Students should now understand that they can use alternative measuring

devices. The fun part of their data is that they can use their very own body

parts. They are free and always with you. Disadvantages may include the fact

that measuring with body parts can also result in inaccurate measurements

because everyone can have different size body parts.

Students will be given a metric ruler. They will be asked to find a part of

their body that measures exactly one inch. They can test their findings by

measuring a sheet of notebook paper. Now the students will understand that they

have a permanent measuring tool right on their body and can be used at all times.VOCABULARYMATERIALSbody parts body and body parts span register tape pencil Superball metric ruler