A Lesson Plan for Inch by Inch
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.
2.MD.1. Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
2.MD.2. Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.
2.MD.3. Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
2.MD.4. Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.
NCTM Standards: Pre-K–2 Expectations
In prekindergarten through grade 2 all students should: recognize the attributes of length; compare and order objects according to these attributes; understand how to measure using nonstandard and standard units; measure with multiple copies of units of the same size, such as paper clips laid end to end; use repetition of a single unit to measure something larger than the unit, for instance, measuring the length of a room with a single ruler; develop common referents for measures to make comparisons and estimates.
Measuring with a non standard unit, the inchworm, which is at the same time a standard unit (an inch) increases understanding. Comparisons of length, important in the standards, are also stressed in this lesson. This lesson can be advanced by using only one inchworm to measure in an iterative manner.
Students will measure and compare common objects using inchworms as an English unit of length measurement.
You will need:A copy of Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni; writing pencils, one per student; glue sticks for each student; copies from the book. (Open the book to the page where the nightingale tells the worm to measure its song; use your copy machine to adjust the size of the inchworm to one inch. Make several copies of the inchworm for each student. Cut the inchworms apart. Make one copy of the heron’s legs for each student.)
Inch; unit of measurement; compare; estimate
Ask children to guess how big an inchworm is? Discuss the relative sizes of an inchworm and a robin and a heron.
Anticipatory Set and Objective
Read the Book. Return to the picture of the heron and ask the children to guess how many inchworms long the heron’s legs are. Demonstrate how to use the copies of the inchworm end to end, along the legs to measure the length.
Using a glue stick, demonstrate how to glue the inchworms end to end along the legs. Stop after gluing a few. Label each inch worm: 1; 2; 3. … Have students continue the activity, gluing the inchworms along the heron’s legs.
Check for Understanding:
Discuss the results: How many inchworms tall are the heron’s legs? When students have finished, have them share their results.
Make copies of other animals in the book. Have students pair up. Ask each pair to measure an animal in the book to hang the classroom.
Check each drawing for the correct measurement. Discuss which animal is biggest, smallest, bigger than inchworm but smaller than heron, etc.
Now use the inchworm measure to measure objects in the classroom, compare and estimate length.