Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Measurement Scavenger Hunt
Carol Spice Santa Rosa District Schools
Description
Start your year with this scavenger hunt! Familiarize students with your classroom while reviewing and assessing basic understanding of estimation, measurement, and units in fraction and decimal form.
Objectives
The student knows whether an exact answer is needed or if an estimate is sufficient.
The student estimates solutions to realworld problems by estimating the length, volume or capacity, weight or mass, perimeter, or area of objects or shapes in either customary and metric units.
The student selects a measurement tool (for example, scales, rulers, thermometers, measuring cups, protractors, gauges) appropriate to a given situation.
The student measures accurately with the measurement tools to the specified degree of accuracy for the task and in keeping with the precision of the measurement tool.
Materials
 Worksheet (See attached file.)
 Group evaluation rubric (See attached file.)
 One ruler and tape measure per group
 Index cards (10 to 15 depending on how many items you ask the students to locate)
 Chalk board, dry erase board, or overhead
 Trundle wheel (optional)
Preparations
1. Decide and make a list of what items you want your students to locate in your room.
2. Decide what size groups you want. Partners work best but will take more time to do the measurements.
3. Number the index cards according to how many items you want students to locate.
Procedures
1. Introduction: “Today we are going on a scavenger hunt. What is a scavenger hunt?” Elicit several responses encouraging students to provide more detail. “If we had a scavenger hunt, what could we look for in this room?” List these responses on the board or overhead projector.
2. “The scavenger hunt you will go on today will help you locate things in this room that you will need this year and find out how far away they are from your desk. What word could we use to describe how far away something is?” Take various answers encouraging words such as distance, feet, inches, and other units of measure.
3. “Can anyone tell me what tools we would use to measure distances in this room?” Elicit several responses. (Introduce the trundle wheel as a measurement tool if you have chosen this option.) Discuss the term “precision” and “precise” and how they relate to measurement.
4. Pass out worksheets.
5. Have students list on the worksheet the items from the board or overhead that were generated from the brainstorming activity and have students add any other items that you want them to find. (Examples: pencil sharpener, make up work folder, emergency exit, etc.)
6. “What does the word estimation (and/or estimate) mean?” Lead the discussion in to how they would estimate the distance to the items on the list. Discuss what is meant by “reasonable” and “best estimate”. Take examples and nonexamples of both.
7. Instruct students to discuss with their partner(s) some reasonable estimates to the listed items and then write the “best estimate” in the appropriate column.
8. While students are discussing and writing their estimates you can attach the numbered cards to the item. The number on the card corresponds with the number on the worksheet.
9. Discuss the use of rulers and tape measures reviewing how to read each, the best units to use (ie. Inches to feet to yards etc.) and how to express partial units as fractions or decimals. Discuss how precise each tool is and which would be better to use. Tell students that you want them to be as precise as possible.
10. Instruct students to start at the station that corresponds to their group number and to measure the distance from their desk to the item. Tell them to be as accurate as possible. Pass out one ruler and one tape measure to each group of students. Circulate and assist students helping them decide how to represent partial units such as ½ inch or 3 tenths of an inch.
11. When the students are finished with the measuring, discuss the results. “Was your estimate close to your exact measure? Did you choose the best units for the situation? In what situation would your estimate be sufficient? In what situation would you need a more exact measure?”
12. Instruct students to find the difference between the estimate and exact answers and to write the results on the worksheet. Next, ask students to write the answer in a different form (if they used a fraction, change it to a decimal and vice versa or inches to feet etc.). Circulate and assist students with subtracting fractions and/or decimals and changing forms.
13. Collect worksheets. Orally review the topics discussed eliciting responses from students and reinforcing the concepts of estimation and precision.
14. Pass out and instruct students in how to complete the evaluation sheet.
Assessments
The completion, and accuracy in completing, the worksheets will serve as a method of formative assessment of student’s understanding of the concept of estimation and the student’s ability to measure accurately.
Formative assessment of student’s selection and use of measurement tools and the student’s ability to choose between using an estimate or an exact answer is indicated in the following questions. These questions are also in the procedures.
Was your estimate close to your exact measure?
Did you choose the best units for the situation?
In what situation would your estimate be sufficient?
In what situation would you need a more exact measure?
What tools would weuse to measure distances in this room?
Extensions
Students need prior general knowledge of measurement, measurement tools and units.
This activity can lead in to making a map of the classroom (our geography teacher has students do this the beginning of the year so integration would be easy).
After the activity, students could write about several related topics. For example, what careers might use measurement, the importance of accuracy, how well they worked with their group or partner, etc..
Conversions between standard and metric or vice versa could be used in this lesson and be integrated with science.
Additional measurements could lend to a lesson where students would find perimeter, area, surface area, and volume.
