Provide students with index cards and markers. Have them brainstorm
different measures used in the metric system and record them on index
In pairs, have the students organize the index cards into
categories of weight, length, and volume. Ask the students to rank each
unit within the category according to size (smallest to largest).
A sample chart appears below.
|kilometer|| || |
Next, have the students generate a list of items measured with each
unit. Place each item on a separate index card and distribute the cards
among the class.
A sample list is shown below.
length of paper
length of a hallway
mass of humans
distance between cities
| || |
After the students are familiar with the different sizes of the
metric units, show them a conversion table. Facilitate a conversion with students on how to convert by multiplying and dividing by powers of ten.
Distribute the Metric Conversions Activity Sheet to the students to work on individually or in pairs.
Metric Conversions Activity Sheet
Questions for Students
1. What kind of metric units are used to measure fruit at the grocery store?
[Mass of fruit: grams.]
2. What is the smallest unit of the metric system that you might use to measure length? What is the largest?
3. How is volume measured in the metric system? Where have you seen this unit on everyday products?
[Liter is the base unit; bottles of water.]
4. Where are some common places you have seen the metric system used instead of customary units?
[Student responses may vary.]
- Did the students demonstrate an understanding of metric measures?
What additional experiences do they need before moving on to the next
- Did students apply metric measures correctly? In what areas
did they demonstrate confusion about appropriate units for specific
- What additional experiences do the students need in
converting units between customary and metric measures? What additional
activities can reinforce this lesson?