Make a transparency of the ladybugs found on the Ladybugs Resource Sheet.
Cut the ladybugs apart and then demonstrate on the overhead how to use
ladybugs as a tool for measuring. Use multiple ladybugs to measure the
length and width across the overhead, showing that many copies are
needed to cross the top, both to determine length and width.
When students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of
using multiple copies of a unit to measure something longer than the
unit, use only one ladybug and place it in positions to measure across
the top of the overhead. This models iteration of the same unit to
measure the distance that previously required many ladybugs. In the
example below, the ladybug is the unit of measure, and the lines
indicate the number of times it is repeated to cover the width.
Distribute the Ladybugs Resource Sheet
to students. While students remain in their seats, have them cut the
Ladybug Measurers and tape them together to make a “ladybug ruler.”
Then have students measure the distance across their workspace and
create a ladybug ruler as long and/or as wide as their workspace. Some
students may be ready to practice using only one ladybug to measure the
Closely monitor the students during this activity to see which ones
are ready to move from using multiple copies of the unit to using one
copy. It is appropriate for most students to use a “connected” tape for
measuring. However, be alert for students who use their finger to mark
where the next unit should be placed. This indicates that they are
ready to use a single unit for measuring. This is an early strategy
students use for iteration.
Have students draw a picture of the number of ladybugs required to
cross their workspace, and then record the number needed. Keep the
recordings to discuss with students, to share with parents, to use on a
bulletin board, or for future reference for instructional planning.
This recording will help students prepare for the next lesson.
Documenting student’s application of measurement concepts will allow
you to make appropriate decisions about the next lesson(s) and grouping
A related lesson, Ladybug Lengths, is found in the unit Magnificent Measurement.
In this lesson, students experience how ladybugs measure by reading the book Ladybug on the Move by Richard Fowler.