Measurement (4-6)

The most important thing to remember about teaching measurement, at any grade, is to keep it hands-on! Create lessons that engage your students in measurement explorations (e.g., Pumpkin Math). For example, if you are exploring linear measures (e.g., length or distance), have your students measure the lengths of various objects or the distances between two points. Always have the students ESTIMATE before they measure anything. So, if they are going to measure the distance from the classroom to the office, they must first estimate that distance (by walking to the office); and then they measure that distance using the most appropriate unit of measure.

If you are working on “measurement relationships” such as converting between metric units, please focus only on units that we regularly use in everyday life. By doing so it is easy to bring in materials with these units displayed on the packaging, thus allowing students to see the applicability of measurement in everyday life. For example, focus on:

  •  grams and kilograms for mass;
  • millimeters, centimeters, meters and kilometers for length / distance;
  • milliliters and liters for capacity.

IMAGES: Improving Measurement and Geometry in Elementary School is the product of an iniative by the Eisenhower Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education. In my opinion, t is the BEST on-line resource for teaching and learning measurement and geometry. The website includes amazing information on Cognitive & Development Theories of learning including the Van Hiele’s Levels of Geometric Thinking; Teaching Strategies; Assessment Strategies; and a large collection of Activities and Lesson Plans (PDF) covering a variety of grades. Visit the website at

The following are more activities that you could use / modify for your classroom practice:

  1. Guide to Effective Instruction: Measurement (Gr. 4-6)
  2. Gr.4_Measurement Activities_e-workshop
  3. Measuring_Giants_Activities_Gr.4-6 (This is a PDF Portfolio containing 3 PDF files)
  4. Mini-metric_Olympics_AIMS_Gr.4-6 (Great Idea!)
  5. Measurement & Geom._Mini Unit_Gr.3-6_2003
  6. Geometry & Measurement_Unit_Junior
  7. Measuring Penny_Junior_NCTM_2003 (Math & Literature)
  8. Scales & Ratios_Art Activity_AIMS
  9. Measurement_Investigation_Gr.4-6_NCTM_2003
  10. Area & Perimeter_Grade 5
  11. Metric_Activities_Gr.K-6_NCTM
  12. Measurement & Graphing_Backpacks_Gr.6 (Measuring & Data Management)
  13. Geometry, Measurement & Literature_NCTM_2002
  14. Metric_Activities_Gr.K-6_NCTM
  15. Measuring_Circles_AIMS (Although this is a Gr. 8 concept, it can be modified for Gr. 5-7)
  16. Pizza_Diameter_AIMS (Although this is a Gr. 8 concept, it can be modified for Gr. 5-7)