Measuring Lesson

Grades 1-3  (could be adapted for older grades)

Bryan City Schools/Ike

Jackie Boyd, School Counselor

Critical Thinking, Self-Direction, Taking Measurements

Children and teacher measuring a dog's head with a ruler.A teacher showing children a ruler.


Students will use time management skills and responsibility to complete the task on time.

Students will use critical thinking to decide how to use the tools to measure.

Students will apply self direction and self control to work independently.


Various items to use as units of measure (rulers, popsicle sticks, centimeter cubes, unsharpened pencils, paper clip chains, etc.)

School Therapy Dog or stuffed animal

Paper and pencil

A book, if available, on taking measurements (Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy)


If available, read the book to students. Explain to students that they will be taking turns measuring Ike or the stuffed animal. Show the whole group how to measure using several items listed above. Have each student choose 2 or 3 parts of the animal (tail, leg, length of back, length of ear, nose, etc.) to measure. Write or draw those parts of the animal on their paper. Each child has a few minutes to measure the dog parts listed on their paper with 2-3 of the designated items and record their measurements on the paper.

For younger students, the teacher or a couple of capable students could model measuring the tail and the ear with two different units of measure. Then the other students could work in pairs to measure either the leg, tail, or ear with one or two units to give everyone a chance to participate. The paper could already be set up as a chart for them to fill in numbers under each unit of measure.

After each child has had a chance to measure Ike, discuss differences in numbers for each unit of measure.

(For example, Ike’s tail may be 5 popsicle sticks or 20 paper clips long.) Discuss why some measurements are larger or smaller, depending on what unit was used.


Discuss the difficulty and the different ways of approaching the project.

Discuss how their results compared to what they thought would be the outcome.

Compare the results of various students to find how their answers were the same or different.

Discuss why this might have happened.

This project might be repeated at a later time with different units of measurement, different items to measure, or different parts of the animal to measure.

For a Printable PDF of this Lesson Plan, download this file: AP-LessonPlan-Measuring

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Children measuring a dog's tail.