ATOS Reading Level: 6.4
Subject Area: mathematics
Essential Question: Why do people need a standard unit for measuring length and area? Help K-5 students answer this essential question (and meet the Common Core State Standards) with the Teaching STEM lesson plans for this mentor text: For Good Measure: They Ways We Say How Much, How Far, How Heavy, How Big, How Old by Ken Robbins.
Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “Why do people need a standard unit for measuring length and area?” They will explore measurement by finding the dimensions of a library table using their own feet as a nonstandard unit and record the data to see the variations that result from their measurements. They will develop a data table and record their measuring activity on it. The students will then practice accurately using U.S. standard units with a ruler and yardstick by measuring the table’s correct dimensions and find its area. They will compare the differences they have collected and identify which is the more accurate way to measure items.
The Library Activity begins on p. 174. The Collaborative Teacher activity begins on p. 176.
Extension Activities 1. Measure a given rectangle’s width and length. Calculate the area in square inches. Then use graph paper with each square representing a square inch. Transfer the rectangle’s area onto the graph paper by coloring in the correct number of square inches.
2. Make a list of all the different terms used to measure things. Group the words that measure length, weight, and volume. Then find each word’s equivalent in the metric system.
3. After reading the book, have the students write a short description of the main idea of the book. Use the phrase, “I am a mathematician. I know that _________.”