Mastering Measurement

Math is, without a doubt, my FAVORITE subject to teach!  I love all the hands-on, engaging activities and the variety of manipulatives and real-life situations that can be used to teach the concepts.  
One of my favorite math units to teach is measurement!

When I taught first grade, we started with non-standard units of measurement.  We used everything and anything we could get our hands on to measure.  The most commonly used materials were crayons, paperclips, and linking cubes.  My class loved being able to roam the room measuring and comparing the lengths of various objects.  One of our favorite non-standard units of measurement activities was Ice Cream Measurement.  

I made one giant ice cream cone and had each student stand next to it to see how many ice cream scoops tall they were.  It was so much fun!  I took their picture and glued it on to a paper.  Then they wrote how tall they were in a complete sentence.  I don't have the ice cream templates, but you can grab the measurement page below!

Once we mastered non-standard units of measurement, we were able to begin standard units.  To start off, I gave each student an inch worm.  They taped it around their finger and used it to measure objects around the room.  This helped them begin to make the leap to using inches and centimeters to measure.  

You can grab the inchworms and recording page below!

When I moved up to second grade, we used solely standard units of measurement - inches, feet, yards, centimeters, and meters.  I created a unit to help us learn the more advanced concepts of measuring.

Click here to learn more about this packet.

We measured, compared, and created line plots for all the standard units.  Line plotting was a tricky concept at first, but quickly became a popular inquiry activity.  Students worked in groups to measure the lengths of pencils, string, books, and construction paper.  They recorded the measurements on a line plot and analyzed their results.  If you would like to see more practice with line plots, check out my graphing packet.  

Want to more measurement fun?
Head on over to my blog to see more of my favorite measurement activities!  :)


  1. I just love your posts, Janae! Your cute photos really help me see how to create my own display in my room. These measurement ideas all look like so much fun! Now, I've got this sudden urge to go tape a worm to my finger and go measure things myself! I wish learning had been this fun when I was in school! Thanks for the great ideas.

  2. I love ALL of these activities, and I immediately started thinking of how I can use them with my bigger kids! I absolutely love how you progress through nonstandard units to standard units, providing lots of practice (and writing and graphing) along the way!
    xo Pam
    Hedgehog Reader

  3. What great ideas for teaching measurement. The ice cream cone height measurement is my favorite!