Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Bearly There
Judith McCormick Bay District Schools
Description
This activity is a fun way to introduce measurement. After reading How Long Is A Foot? the students use nonstandard measuring devises to measure different items and place them in order from longest to shortest.
Objectives
The student uses nonstandard methods to compare and order objects according to their lengths or weights.
Materials
 How Long Is A Foot?Myller, Rolf, 1990, New York, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
Items for the demonstration
Individual student baggies containing 5 items and manipulative bears. (EX: pencils, erasers, crayons, paper clips, wrapped candy, small toys...) The items do not need to be the same for each bag. Premeasure items so that you have an exact number of bears as your length instead of worrying about fractions of bears.
Checklist (See Assessment)
Preparations
1. Gather materials to be used: The book: How Long Is A Foot?, baggies, Teddy Bear Counters, materials to be measured (Ex.: Pencils, crayons, small toys, wrapped candy)
2. Fill a bag with 5 items to be measured, along with several Bear Counters, for each child in the class. The items do not need to be the same for each bag. Premeasure items so that you have an exact number of bears as your length instead of worrying about fractions of bears.
3. Make a copy of the checklist for the teacher’s use.
Procedures
1. Ask the students what they know about measurements and why would we want to measure things. Encourage and accept all responses.
2. Introduce the terms: Long and Short, Longer and Shorter.
3. As an example, use different items available around the classroom, and ask the students to compare and tell you which is longer or shorter. Put items in order from longest to shortest.
4. Tell the students that you are going to read them a story about a king and some problems that are encountered when ordering a birthday present for the queen.
5. Read the story How Long Is A Foot? to the class.
6. Discuss story with the class.
7. To encourage discussion ask the students comprehension questions such as:
What was it that the king was wanting?
Why did he want a bed (or gift) made for the queen?
What did the king use the measure the size of the bed?
Did the carpenter follow the directions that the king gave him?
Which bed was shorter? Which bed was longer?
Why was the size of the bed not the size that the king ordered if the carpenter followed his directions?
How did they finally solve the problem?
8. Invite a student to come to the front of the classroom and have him/her take 6 steps, placing his or her feet heel to toe. (May have to demonstrate this to the student.) Mark the spot where the child ends up.
9. In the same place that the student began, take 6 steps, placing your feet heel to toe and mark the spot where you end up.
10. Ask the students who went the shortest distance? Who went the longest? What determined the longest distance?
11. Ask another student to come to the front of the class, asking the class who they think will go the longest distance and why.
12. Repeat steps 6 and 7 with this student.
13. Tell students that you have prepared bags with 5 items and some of the manipulative bears and that you want them to measure the items in the bag using the bears.
14. Demonstrate to the students how they are to measure using the bears. An example may be using a crayon and placing the bears side by side beside the crayon and counting how many bears you had to use to be same length as the crayon.
EX: The crayon may be 5 bears long.
15. Using the checklist tell the students how they will be assessed and what will show mastery.
16. Have the class helper pass out the prepared bags, one for each student.
17. Ask each student to measure their items with their bears and to put their items in order from longest to shortest.
18. When students have finished this task, ask them to raise their hands so that you can check their work. Walk around observing and formatively assessing students’ work. As the teacher assesses each student's work, she needs to ask questions that will have students compare the objects. (Is item A shorter or longer than Item B?), etc.
19. Have the students trade their baggies with another student in the class. Repeat step 16, and have the students raise their hands when finished. This time when you walk around and observe student work, use the checklist to determine student mastery. Students not reaching mastery should be retaught and reassessed
20. When all students are finished, gather materials and review what has been taught.
Assessments
This is a formative assessment on ordering and comparing lengths using nonstandard units of measurement. The students will be able to measure certain objects in the classroom using a nonstandard method of measurement, comparing them, and then putting them in sequential order according to length.
The students measure and compare 5 objects and place them in sequential order from longest to shortest.
S: The student is able to measure the 5 given items using Bears and place them in order from longest to shortest. As students are asked to compare the items, they are able to compare 95% of the items.
N: The student is able to measure the 5 given items using Bears and place them in order from longest to shortest, with only 1 or 2 being in the wrong position. As students are asked to compare the items, the are able to compare 50% of the items.
U: The student is able to measure the 5 given items using Bears and place them in order from longest to shortest, with 3 or more being in the wrong position. Students are not able to compare 50% or more of the items.
Extensions
This could be used as the beginning lesson for a unit in measurement.
