Smile Metric Style

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A lesson by Deana Metder in which students practice working with the metric system

Author: Deana Metder

Grade Level/Subject: Appropriate for grades 4-8

Overview: Using the metric system can be very confusing and difficult for many students. This activity enables the students to practice working with the metric system.

Objective(s): The students will be able to:

  1. Accurately use a metric ruler to measure length.

  2. Accurately read and record measurements taken in centimeters and millimeters.

  3. Find a sum of multiple metric measurements.

  4. Compare and order individual measurements.

  5. Use a histogram to graph their results.


Activities and Procedures:

  1. Divide the class into groups of four.

  2. Each student will measure and record the length of each person's smile in their group.

  3. The students need to check their results against the results of the rest of the group. If there are any discrepancies the students should verify the results as a group.

  4. When an accurate measurement has been obtained for each child the results are recorded on the chalkboard as each child records them at their seat.

  5. Order all the measurements from least to greatest.

  6. Graph your results.

  7. Find the sum of all the smiles in your classroom. Don't forget the teachers, it is often the largest because the students are so involved in this activity.

  8. Create one smile out of construction paper that is the length of the of all the smiles in your room.

Tying it all Together:

This lesson can be completed as one lesson or extended to several, depending on the level and ability of the class. A fun extension to this activity is to challenge other classes to measure their smiles and gather data. These data can then be compiled and totaled by class. A graph is then constructed comparing individual classes and posted in the main hall. The graph generates a lot of interest and motivates the students to measure and compare many other objects.

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