Winter Olympics:Non Standard Measurement

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SWBAT express a length using multiple pieces of a shorter object.

Big Idea

We are going for GOLD! Students will use different objects to measure the length achieved in different Olympic events.

Rev Them Up

5 minutes

The lesson today will be used to practice measurement using non-standard items, but my focus here will be to build excitement about the Olympics and teach my students why they are important for our country and relationships with others.

Time for Kids is offering a great kid-friendly connection for the 2014 Winter Olympics including summaries, great pictures,  and printables. You can go here to get great printables for the Olympic rings, torch, and medals. There are several things I want to discuss with my students including:

  • what events are in the Winter Olympics
  • significance of the colored rings (every flag of each country that participates contains at least one of the colors)
  • what is the torch for
  • how often does it occur
  • compare/contrast the summer Olympics with the winter Olympics

This will be an open-ended discussion, not a question-answer session. I will use images at the Time for Kids site to present information to the class and teach them about the history of the Olympics.

Whole Group Interaction

10 minutes

I will have a discussion with my students about measurement.  I want to know do they know what it is and if they do, what kind of experiences have they had with it. You can watch part of our measurement discussion and hear their ideas. My goal will be to help them understand:

  • when you measure something you have to follow a specific procedure
  • when you are measuring you have to begin at a starting point and not just pick a spot
  • if you are using non-standard objects you have to lay them end to end and ends need to touch

The goal of my discussion is for my students to understand measuring is a precise process and very specific actions must occur for the answer to be accurate. (MP6). There will be six stations to set up for today's lesson. Here is a list of the Olympic Non-Standard Measurement Stations and a picture to refer to prep materials.

These stations will give students practice with measuring using multiple objects laid end to end. (1.MD.A.2). I will need to make sure my students understand that when we use objects to measure with, there cannot be any gaps or overlaps. I will use different objects in the classroom to show them examples of this.

Independent Practice

30 minutes

Print the Station recording sheet and copy for each student. I will have the stations already set up and begin by explaining to my students what is necessary at each. I will walk my students around and describe each event and model for them how to do each one, including how to use the different items to measure.

It will be very important that they use their measuring tools in a strategic way to gain the correct answer for the length they are measuring. (MP5). I think each station will be manageable for my students, but because there are six different ones I will be inviting 6 fifth grade students to come and "operate" each station. This will supply extra eyes to make sure the procedures are followed and assist with measuring. The High Jump will be the most difficult to measure because the measuring strips will be going up the wall. The extra hands at this station will definitely help. You can see the different events and where I set them up Speed Skate PicBobsleigh PicLong Step PicSnoball Throw VideoSpeed Skate VideoLong Step VideoBobsleigh Video, and the Curling Video


3 minutes

This is the first lesson in my measurement series and I want to end this lesson by having my students summarize what they have learned today. I will ask them to turn to their neighbor and share two things they learned today.