Intro: Convert Customary Measurement

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SWBAT convert a measurement from one customary unit to another.

Big Idea

Help Joey figure out how many pitchers he needs to serve the juice so everyone gets some, help out so the school supplies get to school, and help us order enough string to make scarves.


10 minutes

To introduce this lesson, we watch a clip about Customary Measurement on BrainPop. BrainPop offers a subscription based service that delivers feeds of short educational clips.

This particular clip explains what customary measurements are, where they come from, and how they’re used. Students learn how many feet are in a mile, how many ounces are in a pound, and how many pints are in a gallon. At the end of this lesson, students can answer (2) questions: What are customary units? Is there an easy way to convert from metric units to customary units?

There are other video resources available for free that address this topic. Bill Nye the Science Guy has an entire episode on this topic, on YouTube, and MathCrash has a video titled Measurement: Distance and Length. You should preview these to make sure they meet your students needs.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

I use my Guided Practice notes to work through two sample problems with students. With the first problem, I explained two methods in order to attack these types of problems.

Paired Practice

15 minutes

Using MP1, student justified their answers with drawings, chart, pictures, and/or numbers. I used this example because in a previous unit, on coordinate planes, my students were particularly interested in the weight of the puppy on a graph.

Mary has a new puppy that weighs 6 pounds 4 ounces. What is the weight of the puppy in ounces?

This being a multiple step problem, I anticipate students to have difficulty completing all of the steps. I expect some students to multiply 6 pounds by 16 ounces, and forget about the extra 4 ounces. We will also work on a similar problem in another lesson this week in my Post Office lesson.


15 minutes

Students made a "big G" to diagram the equivalent measurements in their Math InterActive Notebooks. (This could also be done with Gallon Man.) This is a picture we use to help us remember the customary units of measurement for capacity, and how they relate to one another.  The big G stands for one gallon and inside the gallon there are four Q’s, which stand for 4 quarts.  In each Q, there are two P’s, and P stands for pint.  There are 8 pints in a gallon.  In each pint, there are two cups and C stands for cups.  There are 16 cups in a gallon. We also viewed real-word examples of: cups, pints, quarts, and gallons, and we discussed what things came in each container.


  • orange juice, milk, ice cream, lemonade and other juice, gasoline, water


  • milk, oil


  • ice cream, frozen yogurt, school lunch milk cartons, juice


  • water, flour, sugar, milk, frozen yogurt, juice, ice cream