E Mathematics Operations & Applications: B. Measurement Lesson Plan: Basic Measurement: Length

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1 Abstract This required lesson provides the background information necessary for students to understand how to measure length. Within this lesson, there are two options for activities to give each student hands-on experience with this skill. The first option is to have students complete the activity included here. The second option allows the instructor to choose an activity from the list of approved hands-on activities contained in lessons throughout the STARBASE curriculum. Time: 30 Minutes Objectives: Mathematics Operations & Applications: B. Measurement 1. The learner will apply appropriate standard units and tools to measure length. 2. The learner will apply appropriate standard units and tools to measure liquid volume. 3. The learner will apply appropriate standard units and tools to measure mass. Lesson Plan Basic Measurement: Length* Appendices Objective Met * This lesson and the chosen hands-on activity is required as an introduction to measuring length. 1

2 Instructor Materials 1 Metric ruler 1 Ice cream box or similar 1 Calculator (optional) or record calculation on whiteboard Introduction to Measurement PowerPoint presentation (optional) Student Materials Per pair of students 2 Metric rulers 2 Different ice cream boxes 2 Calculators (optional) Scratch paper Pertinent Information»» Required Lesson: This lesson is a required lesson and must be completed as part of your curriculum instruction.»» Activity Planning: To successfully complete this required lesson, students must be given a handson opportunity to measure length. This lesson plan contains one approved hands-on activity. However, also included here is a list of approved hands-on measuring length activities to choose from found in lesson plans throughout the STARBASE curriculum. 2

3 Instructor Background Information: Key Vocabulary Capacity The amount a container will hold. Meter Standard metric unit used to measure the length of an object or the distance between two objects. Metric System Universal system of measurement used by scientist all over the world; based on 10 and powers of 10. Volume Amount of space an object occupies. 3

4 The Metric System The metric system is a universal system of measurement used by most of the world. To have a single unit of measurement for a physical quantity is one goal of the metric system. For example, the standard metric unit for measuring mass is gram. The standard metric unit for measuring length is meter. The standard metric unit for measuring liquid volume is liter, and the standard metric unit for measuring temperature is Celsius. This makes it possible to communicate with others who do not share a common language. Another important reason for using the metric system relates to conversion factors. Conversion factors are no longer needed when making calculations with physical quantities. All lengths and distances, for example, are measured in meters, or thousandths of a meter (millimeters), or thousands of meters (kilometer), and so on. There is no need for different units with different conversion factors, such as inches, feet, yards, miles, etc. The metric system is based on 10 and powers of 10, so that one can convert by simply moving the decimal place: meters is 1234 millimeters, kilometers, etc. A standard set of prefixes in powers of ten are used to derive larger and smaller units from the base units. The use of fractions, such as 2 7 of a meter, is not prohibited, but uncommon, as it is generally not necessary, which is another benefit to using the metric system. 4

5 Instructor Preparation: Activity Preparation üü üü Prepare the measuring length demonstration by positioning all the materials on a display table at the front of the class. For the hands-on activity, distribute the materials to each table. 5

6 Lesson: Complete this introduction to the Metric System with the first Basic Measurement lesson plan you introduce. For the remaining two Basic Measurement lesson plans, start at Step 5 to review the tools and measurements that relate to the associated lesson. Depending upon their science background, some students may or may not have heard of the metric system. Wait for a few seconds, and if no student responds, explain how the systems differ. You may want to show the images and captions in the PowerPoint presentation for this lesson as you discuss the metric system. Metric System Introduction 1. Discuss the English system of measurement by posing several questions to the class to see if they can determine the answers. Write their responses on the board. If they can t answer, write the answers. a. Ask: How many centimeters are in an inch? (2.54) b. Ask: How many inches are in a foot? (12) c. Ask: How many feet are in a mile? (5,280) d. Ask: How many cups are in a pint? (2) e. Ask: How many pints are in a quart? (2) f. Ask: How many quarts are in a gallon? (4) 2. Ask: Aren t those a lot of numbers to remember? How is the metric system different from the English system? (The metric system is different from the English system because there are not as many different numbers to remember. The metric system is based on 10 and powers of 10.) 3. Have students complete the top line of their Metric Units and Tools activity log. 4. Metric Stick Example: On this meter stick, I have one meter, 10 decimeters, 100 centimeters, and 1,000 millimeters. All I have to remember is to multiply by 10. Scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians all over the world use the metric system. If I travel to China but don t speak Chinese, I can still communicate my measurements to them because we all use the same system. 5. Go over the metric system page in the activity log. Have students fill in the standard metric unit and the tool used to measure length/distance. Also cover the prefixes for each unit of measure (see the activity log). 6. Choose from one of the two possible options below to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to measure length. 6

7 Option 1: Measuring Length Hands-on Activity 7. Overview the mission for the students. You are a member of the next group traveling to the DoD Satellite Station to take the place of the current group so they can come home. For the past four months, they have been without fudgesicles. You and your group have offered to bring fudgesicles, but they must fit in the space you have available in your food compartment. Your mission is to determine how many boxes of each type of fudgesicles you will take. The volume of space you have available equals 20,000 cm Explain to students that they will be measuring the length, width, and height of two different sized boxes using the metric unit of centimeters. Ask: What are some possible tools we can use to measure length? (Most students will suggest a ruler, a tape measure, or a yard/meter stick. These are all correct, of course. While unlikely necessary, guide the students to these tools if they are having difficulty.) Show them the sample boxes. Ask: Which tool for measuring length would be most appropriate for taking measurements of the boxes? (Most students will say the ruler. If students suggest a meter stick or tape measure, explain that these are correct as well; however, they aren t the most appropriate since they are designed primarily to measure much longer lengths than those of the boxes.) 9. Working in pairs, direct each student to take a box. Each student should measure the length, width, and height of one of the boxes. 10. After both students complete the measurements, direct them to switch boxes with their partner. 11. When both students have measured both boxes, have them compare their answers. If their answers are not the same, they should remeasure and decide on the final answer to write in their activity log. 12. Next, have each student multiply the length times the width times the height of each box in order to determine the volume. Again, students should compare their answers and 7

8 recalculate if necessary. If time permits, they can use the calculators to check their answers. 13. Finally, explain the difference between volume and capacity in order to have the students use their calculated volumes to determine which boxes and how many of each would best fit in the capacity of their cooler to take to the DoD Satellite Station. Explain to students that the space inside the cooler is the capacity, whereas the length, width, and height of the exterior of the cooler is its volume. Capacity is the term used to express how much volume a container can hold. The capacity of our cooler is 20,000 cm Have students complete the questions at the bottom of their activity logs and review the answers as a class. Option 2: Approved Hands-On Measuring Length Activities in Other Lesson Plans There are activities throughout the approved STARBASE curriculum that can be utilized to meet the Basic Measurement: Length hands-on activity requirement. They are outlined in the table below. Guidelines to keep in mind: A. Measuring length activities will be designated in the lesson plans below with the symbol in Figure 1. B. In order to satisfy the hands-on requirement, each student must be given the opportunity to conduct the applicable measurement activity. Figure 1: Length Activity Symbol C. To prepare students for the chosen activity, ask the following questions: Ask: What are some possible tools we can use to measure length? (Most students will suggest a ruler, a tape measure, or a yard/meter stick. These are all correct, of course. While unlikely necessary, guide the students to these tools if they are having difficulty.) 8

9 Ask: Which tool for measuring length would be most appropriate for taking measurements for this activity? (Answers will vary depending on the activity. Ensure, however, the students ultimately determine the proper tool [e.g., tape measure, ruler, meter stick, etc.] that is most appropriate for the associated lesson.) Core Curriculum Area Lesson Plan Title Introduction to Rocketry: Appendix A: Straw Rockets Physics: A. Newton s Three Laws of Motion Introduction to Rocketry: Appendix B: Water Rockets Introduction to Newton s 2nd Law: Appendix C: Impact Cars Chemistry Sciences: C. Atmospheric Properties Fluid Investigations Nanotechnology: Miniscule Matters Technology: A. Innovations Introduction to Robotics: Appendix A: Program Logic and Math Reasoning Introduction to Robotics: Appendix B: Robotics Challenge Small Will Help All Introduction to Navigation and Mapping: Appendix A: Top Secret Mission Technology: B. Navigation and Mapping Introduction to Navigation and Mapping: Appendix B: Search and Rescue on the Big Island of HI Introduction to Navigation and Mapping: Appendix C: Introduction to GPS: Appendix C: Rocket Waypoints 9

10 Engineering: A. Engineering Design Process Mathematics Operations & Applications: B. Measurement Mathematics Operations & Applications: C. Geometry Mathematics Operations & Applications: D. Data Analysis Introduction to EDP: Appendix B: Operation Bridge Quest Engineering Measurement Training STEM Time Capsule Pop! Goes the Fizz 10

11 Basic Measurement: Length Assessment Suggested Final Assessment Questions 1. If I have a box that has a length of 20 cm, a width of 5 cm, and a height of 10 cm, what is the volume? 2. Why is the metric system easier to use than the English system? 3. Do you think the United States should change to the metric system? Why or why not? 11

12 Basic Measurement: Length Assessment Suggested Final Assessment Questions Application 1. If I have a box that has a length of 20 cm, a width of 5 cm, and a height of 10 cm, what is the volume? Answer: 1000 cm 3 Comprehension 2. Why is the metric system easier to use than the English system? Possible answer: The metric system is based on 10 and the powers of 10. Evaluation 3. Do you think the United States should change to the metric system? Why or why not? Possible answer: Answers will vary. 12

13 Basic Measurement: Length Activity Log The Metric System is based on _ and powers of. MASS Standard Metric Unit: LENGTH or DISTANCE Standard Metric Unit: LIQUID VOLUME Standard Metric Unit: Tool Used: Tool Used: Tool Used: Units and Prefixes milli ( 1000) Prefixes Units Prefixes centi deci deka hecto gram, meter, liter ( 100) ( 10) (X 10) (X 100) kilo (X 1000)

14 Basic Measurement: Length Activity Log MISSION: You are a member of the next group traveling to the DoD Satellite Station to take the place of the current group so they can come home. For the past four months, they have been without fudgesicles. You and your group have offered to bring fudgesicles, but they must fit in the small space you have available in your food compartment. Your mission is to determine how many boxes of each type of fudgesicles you will take. The volume of space you have available equals 20,000 cm 3. Work in pairs. Each student should measure the length, height, and width of the two boxes. Compare your measurements. Remeasure if your results are different. Once you have agreed on your measurements, use the formula provided below to determine the answers to the questions. Measuring Solid Volume volume = length x width x height Fudgesicle Box #1 Fudgesicle Box #2 length height width Length: cm Length: cm Width: cm Width: cm Height: cm Height: cm Volume: cm 3 Volume: cm 3 1. You have 20,000 cm 3 of space available for the fudgesicles boxes. How many of each will you be taking? Fudgesicle Box #1 Fudgesicle Box #2 2. What is the total volume of space you will be using? 3. How did you make your decision?

15 Basic Measurement: Length Activity Log The Metric System is based on _ 10 and powers of. 10 MASS LENGTH or DISTANCE LIQUID VOLUME Standard Metric Unit: Standard Metric Unit: Standard Metric Unit: Gram Meter Liter Tool Used: Tool Used: Tool Used: Triple beam balance Ruler or meter stick Graduated cylinder Units and Prefixes milli ( 1000) Prefixes Units Prefixes centi deci deka hecto gram, meter, liter ( 100) ( 10) (X 10) (X 100) kilo (X 1000)

16 Basic Measurement: Length Activity Log MISSION: You are a member of the next group traveling to the DoD Satellite Station to take the place of the current group so they can come home. For the past four months, they have been without fudgesicles. You and your group have offered to bring fudgesicles, but they must fit in the small space you have available in your food compartment. Your mission is to determine how many boxes of each type of fudgesicles you will take. The volume of space you have available equals 20,000 cm 3. Work in pairs. Each student should measure the length, height, and width of the two boxes. Compare your measurements. Remeasure if your results are different. Once you have agreed on your measurements, use the formula provided below to determine the answers to the questions. Measuring Solid Volume volume = length x width x height Fudgesicle Box #1 Fudgesicle Box #2 length height width Length: 23 cm Length: 18 cm Width: 17 cm Width: 15 cm Height: 4.5 cm Height: 8 cm Volume: 1,759.5 cm 3 Volume: 2,160 cm 3 1. You have 20,000 cm 3 of space available for the fudgesicles boxes. How many of each will you be taking? Fudgesicle Box #1 Fudgesicle Box #2 2. What is the total volume of space you will be using? 3. How did you make your decision?

17 References: The Science Spot: Science Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from U.S. Metric Association (USMA). (n.d.). Retrieved from 17

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