The more measuring, the better. I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting measuring projects. Here are a few that I am working on:
Maps. Kids like creating maps. My students created maps of their team’s fictional homeland (in Social Studies). They had to mark out where specific resources could be found (clam beds, cedar groves, egg-collecting spots, etc) and the location of a village site. They had to calculate the area of each resource patch and the perimeter of the island. They also created a map scale and marked out distances between their village site and important places in their homeland.
By the way, I highly recommend that you create cm grid transparencies. These are very handy for measuring the area of irregular spaces. More than that, they are an excellent scaffolding tool for students who need to see that 6cm x 7cm = 42 cm squared. I have them at the ready whenever I’m helping those less-confident students.
Floor plans. Start by researching and creating a model house (always fun). My kids used the SFU Time Immemorial site to research the inside of a Coast Salish longhouse. We are currently working on models and they are having a blast. Next comes drawing out a floor plan. Of course, kids will be measuring parts of the house (length, width, height) and calculating the areas of important spaces. They need to calculate house perimeters and estimate the size of the potential classroom village site. Scale is an important concept in this project as well.
Time Schedules. There is always opportunities for kids to create schedules, whether for special days (like Valentine’s) or ordinary days with some flexibility in the schedule. It seems simple enough, but is an excellent test of a student’s time measuring skills. The nice thing about a school day is that events must fit within the strict parameters of a school’s schedule. This means event durations must add up properly and conform to the start times of recess, lunch and the final bell. Plus, there is a cross-over between am and pm. Students can record times in both standard and 24-hour time. I have a nice standard scheduling sheet that students use for any scheduling activities. It is very versatile and I am willing to share it with you!