Measuring Solids

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SWBAT measure and compare solids in two ways.

Big Idea

Solids can be measured by length and mass.

Setting the Stage

National Science Education Standards

Properties of Objects and Materials

This standards focus on how objects have measurable properties, which use tools. In this lesson, students learn about solids. Students learn that solids can be measured by length and weight. They learn that solids have a definite shape and size of their own. Solids do not change their size and shape unless someone cuts, bends, or break them. Solids can be described by their properties. In this lesson, students learn that solids can by measured by length and weight. They are going to measure the length and weight of objects. It is important that students have an opportunity to learn how to use the correct scientist tools. Also, they need to understand that science is integrated with math. This lesson is taught to address TN standards.  

Science and Engineering Practice: 

SP 5 addresses using mathematics and computational thinking. In K-2, students describe, measure, or compare attributes of different objects and display data on charts. In this lesson, the students observe various solids. They use a chart to record the length and weight of the object. This lesson is essential to students because they are going to have the opportunity to use science tools (i.e. ruler and balance scale) to measure length and weight. It is important that students work with science tools like scientists.

SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2. Students communicate information with others in oral and written form to discuss scientific ideas.  In this lesson, groups are provided the opportunity to discuss the length and measurement of various solids.

Prior Knowledge:

In previous lessons, students learned about matter. They understand that solids, liquids, and gases are forms of matter. Also, they are beginning to understand that solids have a size and shape of their own while liquids and gases do not have shape or size.

Junior Scientists:

In my class, my students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets they created early in the school year to be worn during experiments. I call them junior scientists to encourage them to major in Science and Math related careers. I want them to develop a love for Science and Math. Also, we sing "It Is Science Time" or "I Got A Feeling Song" before each lesson.

Materials per group:


10 minutes

At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson.  This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call my students scientists to empower and encourage them to be dreamers and doers.

“I Can” statement

I call on a student to read our "I Can" statement for the day. While using an over-sized microphone, a scientist says, "I can identify two ways to measure solids." The "I Can" statement helps students take ownership of the lesson as they put standards into context. The other students praise the student that reads the "I Can" statement by clapping.  I encourage students to give each other praise to boost their self-esteem.


Students watch a video on solids. They learn about solids. This video helps my visual learners. Videos help my students retain taught content.

After the video, I pose the following questions: What are solids? How can solids be destroyed?


I call on a students to select a solid in the room. The student describes the properties of the solid. To challenge the students, I describe the properties of solid in the classroom and the students identify the item. I play this game to support my auditory learners. Verbal language helps students to store taught content. 


25 minutes

At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson.  This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call my students scientists to empower them and encourage them to become dreamers and doers.

While students are sitting at their groups' tables, they assign their groups' roles such as: a person who records, manages, and reports. I permit the students to select these roles so they can capitalize on their strengths.  This also boosts students' self esteem. I select the leader who is the student that demonstrates leadership qualities.  The students are provided group labels and clothes pin clips. They are encouraged to wear their labels. I provide the students with the group labels  to help them identify their roles. Also, it helps promote a positive classroom environment with little disruption.

Before the groups start their investigation, I discuss the science safety rules. 1. Think Ahead. 2. Be Neat. 3. Be careful 4. Do not eat or drink anything. It is important for students to have a sense of what is and is not appropriate during science investigations. I am preparing them for science experiments the upper grades. My students know the importance of being safe. 

At the groups' tables, they have the following materials: objects, balance, ruler, and lab sheet.

Teacher note: Before they start their investigation, you can demonstrate how to use the balance and rulers.  My students are familiar with using a ruler to measure the length of objects and they know scientists use the metric system.

The groups are instructed to use the balance to find the mass of the objects. My students have limited knowledge about how to use a balance. Therefore, I model for the students how to weigh items using grams. I inform the groups that they are to measure the length of the item horizontally, left to right.  The students measure and weigh a form cube, marker, and form hexagon. The groups are advised to record their findings on the data chart.

When groups finished with measuring their objects, they are notified to put the objects in order from the one with the least amount of mass to the one with the most amount of mass. They do the same thing with the length. They put the items in order from the shortest length to the greatest length.

Student Debrief

The groups discuss their findings with the class. They discuss how they measured the objects and how they arranged their items from least to greatest mass length.

Measuring Solids-Video

Measuring Solids-Lab Sheet





15 minutes

Science Journal Sketch

While students sit at their desks, they sketch a drawing of what they learned. Also, students can write sentences to express their learning. This strategy helps to visually represent new knowledge. I also address visual  learners. Students have an opportunity to apply their learning in a creative way that address their needs.

I review the students' sketches so I can assess their learning. I am checking to make sure that students illustrated what they learned from their science exploration activity. Also, I am making sure that they discuss that solids can have different mass and length. They also know how to measure and weigh items.