**Introduction to
Measurement**

** **

**Objectives: **After completing the
lesson, students will be able to:

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identify the basic units for measuring length, liquid
volume, mass, and temperature using the International System of Units
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·
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identify the measurement tools to measure length, liquid
volume, mass, and temperature in the International System of Units
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·
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identify the
prefixes used in the International System of Units, and explain what
they mean
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convert units of measurement in the International System
of Units
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** **

**Key Question: **"How do
scientists measure objects?"

** **

**Overview: **In this introductory
lesson, students are introduced to the **International System of Units **(abbreviated SI), as a
process scientists use to measure length, liquid volume, mass, and temperature.
It is best left up to the individual teacher how best to explain the
International System of Units, and the metric system from which it was derived.
It is important that students are exposed to the vocabulary of the metric
system, and learn how to calculate conversions between units. It is also a good
idea to allow some time for students to practice using rulers, balances,
graduated cylinders, and thermometers. Measuring objects they bring to class or
themselves is usually an interesting approach. The important goal is exposure:
future lessons will provide students with a chance to measure objects in a more
interesting context.

**Time Required: **2 class sessions
(45-60 minutes each).

**Materials: **

__for each group
of 2-4 students__

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`metric rulers`

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`triple beam or pan balances`

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`graduated cylinders`

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`water`

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`thermometers`

__for each student__

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a copy of each of the following student worksheets from
the
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*Inquiry Skills Activity Book*`:`

·
"Measuring," (pp. 27-28)

·
"Calculating," (pp. 34-36)

·
"Measuring: Length," (pp. 29-30)

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·
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a copy of each of the following student worksheets from
this binder:
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·
"Changing Metric Units"

·
"Metric Prefixes"

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one copy of "SI Units and Conversion Tables,"
p. iv of the
```

*Focus on Earth Science: Laboratory Manual*

**Procedure: **

** Day
1: **Begin the lesson by giving each student a copy of the
student handouts. Briefly demonstrate the proper procedure for using a metric
ruler, a balance, a graduated cylinder, and a thermometer, focusing on
measuring length at this point. Guide the students through an explanation of
the types of units in the metric system, the prefixes and their meaning, and
the process used to convert between units. It is important to proceed with as
many examples as needed, until students have had ample time to practice working
with the vocabulary. End the lesson by giving the students a chance to use the
various measurement tools. Remind the students to bring in their favorite
stuffed animal from home.

**Day
2:** Review the assigned homework, focusing on the units used
to measure length, mass, and volume, the meaning of the prefixes, and
conversion between units. Remind the students that if they have not done so,
bring in their favorite stuffed animal from home.

**Assessment:**

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·
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`"Calculating" worksheet, pp. 34-36 in the `

*Inquiry
Skills Activity Book*

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`"Metric Prefixes" worksheet`

` `

**Homework: **

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`read pp. 714-715 in `

*Focus on Earth Science *```
(the Prentice-Hall,
district adopted textbook).
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`read "Measuring," pp. 27-28 in the `

*Inquiry
Skills Activity Book*

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·
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`read "Calculating," pp. 34-35 in the `

*Inquiry
Skills Activity Book*

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complete the "Calculating" worksheet, p. 36 in
the Inquiry Skills Activity Book
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`complete "Metric Prefixes" worksheet`

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read "Measuring Length," pp. 29-30 in Inquiry
Skills Activity Book
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`bring in your favorite stuffed animal from home`

` `

**OUSD
Science Content Standards (State of California Science Content Standards):** #1-b (7-b).

**References: **

*Focus on Earth
Science: Laboratory Manual. *Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:
Prentice-Hall Inc., 2001, p. iv.

*Inquiry Skills
Activity Book*. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall,
Inc., 2001, pp. 27-30, and 34-36.

` `

**Notes: **

It
is usually difficult to get 6th graders to bring objects from home to use in
class. Therefore, several days before asking them to bring in their favorite
stuffed animals, make sure to mention they will be doing so. Also, for those
who bring in their animals early, make sure to provide a safe, secure storage
space for their "treasures."

There
are a number of excellent sources for teaching metric measurement, in addition
to the materials provided by Prentice-Hall. A few of these are referenced
below:

Franco, Betsy. Key to
Metric Measurement, vols. 1-4. Emeryville, CA.: Key Curriculum Press, 2000.

FOSS (Full Option
Science System): Measurement. Chicago, IL.: Encyclopaedia Britannica
Educational Corporation, 1993.

*Metric Measure*, vol. 06. TOPS
Learning Systems, 1992.

*Metric Measure*, vol. 35. TOPS
Learning Systems, 1992.

The
Key Curriculum Series breaks all aspects of metric measurement into lessons
that are easy for the student to master. They have the additional advantage of
allowing the student to learn and pace themselves on their own.

FOSS
kits were adopted by the district during the adoption cycle previous to the
current one. The "Measurement" kit was distributed to each site, and
contains a full set of four lessons for teaching the metric measurement of
length, mass, volume, and temperature. The materials include a full class set
of graduated cylinders, pan balances and weights, thermometers, and student
masters. Each kit is supposed to be restocked at the end of the year, and is
also available through the district.

The
TOPS books each provide 20 activities that cover all aspects of metric
measuring. Each activity is a complete lesson, using easily obtained materials.

It is important to introduce the
metric system of measurement as early in the school year as convenient. As the
year progresses, it will be necessary to take advantage of every opportunity to
review metric measurements, units, and conversions, and to work these concepts
into the "hands-on," or laboratory part of the science curriculum.
There are also convenient opportunities in the math curriculum to review metric
measurement and conversion concepts.

**Key Vocabulary:**

** **

**International
System of Units (abbreviated SI)**: the International System of
Units is a set of standard measurement units that builds on the metric system.
The key feature of this system is that conversion between smaller and larger
units of measurement is based on multiples of 1.

**temperature:** a measure of how hot
or cold something is. More specifically, temperature is a measure of how fast
the molecules in an object are moving.