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Metric Measurements

Metric Measurements

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, wind vanes, rain gauges, pan balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, spring scales, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, sound recorders, and Sun, Earth, and Moon system models; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

Essential Understanding

The student knows how to use a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry.

Science Background

Tools and Equipment of Science: BioEd Online (video) - Barbara Tharp, MS, explains what types of tools are used in the elementary classroom and how to introduce the proper usage of tools to students.

Tools and Equipment of Science
BioEd Online,

Origin of the Metric System: US Metric Association – This site is an explanation of the Metric System and its history. The metric system is an internationally agreed set of units for measurement.

Origin of the Metric System
US Metric Association,

Signature Lesson

Metric Madness: K8Science (PDF) - This lesson enables students to use tools and apply the skills of estimation and metric measurement in an engaging format. Students rotate through stations or centers in groups. This lesson may be adjusted depending on measurement objectives of the grade level.

Metric Madness
K8 Science,

Supporting Lessons

Metric Measurement: Utah Education Network (website) – Students use a ruler and meter stick to measure the length of a variety of objects.

Metric Measurement
Utah Education Network,

What’s Your Wingspan? Science NetLinks (website) - Students gather and analyze data on their wingspan in an exploratory environment to review measurement and graphing. Questions for discussion are included.

What’s Your Wingspan?
Science NetLinks,

Estimation and Measurement: Science NetLinks (website) – In this lesson, students will first measure with the idea of units in mind and then be challenged to consider why it is important to have standardized units of measurement.

Estimation and Measurement
Science NetLinks,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Balloon Blast: K8Science (PDF) - Students will devise a plan to measure the distance of a balloon's flight, predict the direction a balloon will travel as it deflates, experience Newton's Third Law (for every action there is an opposite, yet equal, reaction), collect relevant data, graph results, and draw conclusions.

Balloon Blast
K8 Science,

Assessment Ideas

Measure the wingspan of your family members. Compare their span against their height. Do you see any patterns? Write a report on your findings.

Literature Connections

How Big is the Lion? Accorsi, William, (ISBN-13: 978-0761155409)

Measuring Penny, Leedy, Loreen, (ISBN-13: 978-0805065725)

How Big is a Foot? Myller, Rolf, (ISBN-13: 978-0440404958)

Me and the Measure of Things: (ISBN-13: 978-0440417569)

Length, Pluckrose, Henry, (ISBN-13: 978-0516454535)

Related Science TEKS

(3.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including observing a schoolyard habitat.

(3.1B) Recycling/Disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to make informed choices in the use and conservation of natural resources by recycling or reusing materials such as paper, aluminum cans, and plastics.

(3.2A) Plan and Implement Descriptive Investigation
The student is expected to plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking and answering questions, making inferences, and selecting and using equipment or technology needed, to solve a specific problem in the natural world.

(3.2B) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data by observing and measuring using the metric system and recognize differences between observed and measured data.

(3.2C) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected to construct maps, graphic organizers, simple tables, charts, and bar graphs using tools and current technology to organize, examine, and evaluate measured data.

(3.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected to analyze and interpret patterns in data to construct reasonable explanations based on evidence from investigations.

(3.2E) Value of Repeated Experiments
The student is expected to demonstrate that repeated investigations may increase the reliability of results.

(3.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected to communicate valid conclusions supported by data in writing, by drawing pictures, and through verbal discussion.

(3.4B) Safety Equipment
The student is expected to use safety equipment as appropriate, including safety goggles and gloves.

Related Math TEKS

3.13A  The student is expected to collect, organize, record, and display data in pictographs and bar graphs where each picture or cell might represent more than one piece of data.

3.13B  The student is expected to interpret information from pictographs and bar graphs.

Additional Resources

Metric Mania Lesson: The Science Spot (website) - A host of metric lessons that include labs on length, mass, volume, density, temperature and conversions activities.

Metric Mania Lesson
The Science Spot,

Create a Graph: Kid’s Zone (website) - This website developed by the National Center for Education Statistics, allows teachers and students to create and print graphs for use in experiments. Five types of graphs are available in various patterns and colors. You can even title the graph and label the axis.

Create a Graph
Kid’s Zone, National Center for Education Statistics,

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