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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:

- Accurately use a metric ruler to measure length.

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

- Find a sum of multiple metric measurements.

- Compare and order individual measurements.

- Use a histogram to graph their results.

Resources/Materials:

Student Materials: metric ruler, crayons or markers, pencils, paper.

Teacher Materials: Chalkboard, chalk, large piece of construction paper or butcher paper, graph paper.

Activities and Procedures:

- Divide the class into groups of four.

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

- 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.

- 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.

- Order all the measurements from least to greatest.

- Graph your results.

- 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.

- 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.

Middle School Lessons and Materials

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