A Lesson Plan for How Big Is a Foot?
K.MD.1. Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
K.MD.2. Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.
1.MD.2. Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. Limit to contexts where the object being measured is spanned by a whole number of length units with no gaps or overlaps.
NCTM Standards: Pre-K–2 Expectations
In prekindergarten through grade 2 all students should: understand how to measure using nonstandard and standard units; select an appropriate unit and tool for the attribute being measured; measure with multiple copies of units of the same size; develop common referents for measures to make comparisons and estimates.
Teacher Notes: This book introduces nonstandard measurement and addresses the reason standard measures are important. The lesson provides practice with estimating and measuring lengths using nonstandard measures, their own foot patterns. How Big Is A Foot? also poses a question to the students that provides them with a chance to problem solve.
The Theme of this lesson is nonstandard and standard measurement.
You will need: A copy of How Big is a Foot?; construction paper; scissors; rulers.
New words: standard measure
Anticipatory Set: Tell the students you are going to read the story How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller, and that it’s about a king who thinks of a lovely present to give his wife, the queen. But, there’s a problem with the present. Tell them that they will have to figure out what the problem is and predict what will happen with the king and his gift to the queen.
Input and modeling: Read How Big Is A Foot? Stop at the page where the question is asked, “Why was the bed too small for the queen?”
Guided Practice: Group the children into 3 0r 4. Pass out construction paper, pencils and scissors to each group. Tell them to decide who in each group will be the King and who will be the apprentice by first estimating and then measuring who in each group has the smallest and the largest foot. Trace the “King’s” foot and the “Apprentice’s” foot in each group, then trace and cut eight more of each foot so that there are nine “King” feet and nine “Apprentice” feet.
Have each group lay out their “King” feet to create a 3 by 6 diagram on the floor. Do the same with their “Apprentice” feet. Ask them, “Why was the bed too small for the queen?”
Check for Understanding: Finish the story and discuss how the problem was solved. Provide a standard unit to measure with – the rulers. Have each group lay out their a 3 by 6 diagram on the floor using the rulers. Discuss the advantage of everyone using the same unit of measure.
Independent Practice: Have students write stories about measuring things with various nonstandard units.