# #02 Measuring Length (grades 6-10)

Regular price \$17.95

Soft-bound, 48 page book, 16 reproducible task cards, full teaching notes.
Play with nonstandard units of measure, then graduate to the simplicity and ease of decimal-based centimeters. Read and report measurements with plus/minus uncertainty. Estimate the height of tall buildings; reinvent the measuring wheel; improvise meter tapes; design accurate nut-and-bold Vernier calipers.

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box paper clips, scissors, index cards (optional), adding-machine tape, clear tape, string clean empty cans, 15 ounce size is best, masking tape, notebook paper, state road maps, pennies, calculators, 1/2 inch inside-diameter hex-nuts and bolts with flat undersides, about 1 inch long, white glue, straight pins, small piece aluminum foil

• Lesson 1: To measure length with thumb widths, paper clips and centimeters. To evaluate each unit as a measuring standard.
• Lesson 2: To define the decimal equivalents of metric prefixes, and use them in combination with other units of measure.
• Lesson 3: To get acquainted with meters, centimeters, and millimeters. To make an accurate meter tape to use in later activities.
• Lesson 4: To compare the length of a kilometer with the length of a mile.
• Lesson 5: To learn how to read a ruler accurately by estimating the last digit.
• Lesson 6: To distinguish between certain figures and uncertain figures. To appreciate that no measurement is exact.
• Lesson 7: To practice reading metric scales calibrated in centimeters and millimeters.
• Lesson 8: To agree with a friend, within acceptable limits of uncertainty, where the hairline crosses a scale.
• Lesson 9: To practice measuring line lengths in significant figures with centimeter and millimeter rulers. To estimate uncertainty as a plus-or-minus figure.
• Lesson 10: To determine how specific body measurements conform to general body proportion equations. To work with measuring uncertainty.
• Lesson 11: To practice measuring lengths of different magnitude. To estimate uncertainty.
• Lesson 12: To measure length using a rolling can. To estimate uncertainty.
• Lesson 13: To construct a vernier caliper that accurately measures small distances.
• Lesson 14: To recalibrate the vernier caliper in metric units and use it to measure short distances.
• Lesson 15: To learn to convert units of measure by multiplying and dividing so that unwanted units cancel out.
• Lesson 16: To project vertical height along the horizontal for easy measurement. To estimate uncertainty in the projection.
We encourage improvisation - it's one of the main goals of our hands-on approach! You and your students might invent a simpler, sturdier or more accurate system; might ask a better question; might design a better extension. Hooray for ingenuity! When this occurs, we'd love to hear about it and share it with other educators. Please send ideas and photos to customerservice@topscience.org.

National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996)

#### TEACHING Standards

These 16 task cards promote excellence in science teaching by these NSES criteria:
Teachers of science...
A: ...plan an inquiry-based science program. (p. 30)
B: ...guide and facilitate learning. (p. 32)
C: ...engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. (p. 37)
D: ...design and manage learning environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources needed for learning science. (p. 43)

#### CONTENT Standards

These 16 task cards contain fundamental content as defined by these NSES guidelines (p. 109).
• Represent a central event or phenomenon in the natural world.
• Represent a central scientific idea and organizing principle.
• Have rich explanatory power.
• Guide fruitful investigations.
• Apply to situations and contexts common to everyday experiences.
• Can be linked to meaningful learning experiences.
• Are developmentally appropriate for students at the grade level specified.

#### Unifying Concepts and Processes

NSES Framework: Systems, order, and organization • Evidence, models and explanation • Constancy, change, and measurement
Core Concepts/Processes: The metric system is a decimal-based standard of measure that the world scientific community recognizes.

#### Science as Inquiry (content standard A)

NSES Framework: Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations. • Design and conduct a scientific investigation. • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. • Think critically and logically to connect evidence and explanations. • Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions. • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations. • Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
Core Inquiries: To read scales accurately, write all the figures you are sure about, then read between the lines to estimate the last digit.

#### Physical Science (content standard B)

NSES Framework: Properties of objects and materials
Core Content: Standards of measure • Metric logic • Significant figures

#### Science and Technology (content standard E)

NSES Framework: Abilities of technological design • Understanding about science and technology
Core Content: A vernier caliper measures distance with greater precision, more significant figures.