Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Measures and Weights!

Kevin Daly
Lee County School District


This lesson only deals with the length and weight in centimeters and grams portion of the standard. Students increase their estimation and measurement skills in regard to the metric system (centimeters and grams). Students order their results in a table for an assessment. Students should have a prior knowledge of how to use both a ruler and a balance.


The student uses direct (measured) and indirect (not measured) measures to compare a given characteristic in either metric or customary units.

The student compares objects according to their length, weight or mass, and capacity using customary or metric units.


Centimeter rulers (1 per student)
- 1 overhead centimeter ruler
- 1 overhead projector
- Balances (1 per group of 5)
Items to measure
- 30 classroom items to measure (5 of the same item per table – teacher discresion ie. 5 chalkboard erasers)there needs to be enough items at each table for each student to measure every item.


1. Gather necessary measurement materials (listed in Materials)
2. Measure and weigh the 6 items to gather baseline data for appropriate charts
3. Create 5 stations with rulers and a balance at each station.


1. Ask the question “What is a centimeter?”

2. Engage the students in a discussion of metric system measurements (to include meter,
centimeter, kilometer, gram, kilogram) and a practical definition of each. Samples of the questions to be included in the discussion are, but not limited to,
1. What is the metric equivelant of inch, pound, mile?
2. What metric unit would be best used to measure the weight and length of a paperclip?
3. What is the best unit of the metric system to measure the distance from school to your house?

3. Tell the children that the lesson today is in estimation, measuring in grams and centimeters, and ranking according to size of the six classroom objects displayed in front of you.

4. Show the children a real-life example of a centimeter.

5. Ask the children to estimate the size of each of the six objects in front of you.

6. Write the children’s answers on the overhead.

7. Ask the children how they would rank the objects from shortest to longest.

8. Reorder the list on the overhead to reflect the appropriate answers of the students.

9. Ask the question “What is a gram?”

10. Engage the students in a discussion about the weight of each object.

11. Ask the children to estimate the weight of each item and list them on the overhead.

12. Ask the children to rank the objects in order from lightest to heaviest and reorder the list on

13.Tell the children that today’s activity will be about measuring and weighing the objects in front of them. Tell children that the criteria for this activity is 100% accuracy and any errors will have to be fixed in order for the activity to be completed.

14. Divide the students into groups for 5 tables (stations) / assign starting stations.

15. Students create 2 T-charts on notebook paper (1 for length and one for weight: see attached files)

16. Students measure the length and weight of the objects in front of them, these measurements for space and time constraints will be measured to the nearest gram and centermeter (if under one meter) and meter if over one meter (at each appropriate station) and write the results on the T-chart they have created from shortest to longest (one side for object other side for result). Switch stations after 1 minute.

17. Students progress through each station to weigh and measure.

18. Students order the objects from smallest to largest and lightest to heaviest on each T-chart.

19. Monitor class for behavior and on task.


Students measure the length and mass of the six classroom objects, with a given measurement device (meter stick, balance). The students measure in metric units. The students then make a list on a T-chart of the objects measured from shortest to longest and another list on a T-chart from lightest to heaviest in metric units (see attached files for an example of a T-chart).
Students are evaluated on the correctness of the rankings. Acceptable evaluation is equal to 100% correct rankings. Due to the nature of the measurement devices and the student's familiarity with them an acceptable margin of error in regard to the exact measurement of the things is +/- .5cm and +/- .5gm. This should in no way affect the rankings.
Students are asked to work with a partner to measure any incorrect errors and are given another set of classroom objects to weigh, measure, and sort.


1. Have students convert their measurements of centimeters and grams to other metric units (meters, kilograms, etc).

Attached Files

T-Chart     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.