Content Area: Math & Science
Unit Title: Measurement
Target Course/Grade Level:  4th grade self contained science class at a private school.
Unit Author:   Anthony Wasacz                                                                   
Date: December 20, 2010

Unit Summary
     This unit will cover different types of measurement using the metric system.  The students will learn how to correctly measure distance, mass, and volume using the appropriate tools. The students will begin by learning how to correctly use a balance to measure the mass of different objects.  They will learn to identify which side of the balance shows a heavier or lighter mass when comparing two objects.  The students will learn how to correctly use a metric ruler, and record the length of objects in centimeters.   Finally, they will be introduced to the concept of volume. They will make measurements of regularly shaped objects, and calculate the volume using length x height x width.  They will also find the volume of irregularly shaped objects by putting the object into a beaker or graduated cylinder and finding the displacement of water.
      The students at this class are at a private school for students with learning disabilities, or who are on the autism spectrum.   There is a 4:8 teacher to student ratio.    Three one – on – one aides are part of the class. The students struggle with reading on grade level, comprehension, and writing.  They have had some previous experience with using measuring, but they will need help to make the measurements correctly. 

Primary interdisciplinary connections:
Math- The students will use rulers to take measurements of objects in centimeters. They will use a balance to measure the mass of objects.  They will use graduated cylinders and rulers to calculate the volumes of objects.  They will calculate the volume of regularly shaped objects using the formula Volume = (length x width x height).
Technology- The students will use SMART Boards and computers for interactive measurement activities. They will use calculators and rulers to find the volume of regularly shaped objects. They will use a balance and gram cubes to find the mass
Current Events- The studentswill use a bathroom scale to weigh and graph the mass of pumpkins for Halloween.  

21st century themes: Global Awareness

Unit Rationale Understanding how to measure and collect data is an important skill for students in both math and science.   This unit will provide the students with ability to collect data by measuring lengths with rulers or meter sticks, as well as measuring the mass of objects using a balance. Students will learn to collect different types of data and work together in groups to take accurate measurements.   This unit can help them to understand the idea of measurement of distance and mass.   

Learning Targets


Common Core Standards

MDM1 (4th Grade)


4.1.4 A Number Sense
Use real-life experiences, physical materials, and technology to construct meanings for numbers. 
4. Understand the various uses of numbers.

5. Use concrete and pictorial models to relate whole numbers, commonly used fractions, commonly used fractions, and decimals to each other, and to represent equivalent forms of the same number. 

4.2.4D Units of Measurement
4.2.4 E Measuring Geometric Objects.
4.4.4 A Data Analysis

4.2.4D-1 Understand that everyday objects have a variety of attributes, each of which can be measured in many ways.

4.2.4D-2 Select and use appropriate standards of measurement tools to solve real life problems. ‘

4.2.4D-3 Develop and use personal referents to approximate standard units of measure (e.g., a common paperclip is about an inch long. 

4.2.4E-3 Measure and compare the volume of three dimensional objects using materials such as rice or cubes

4.4.4A-1 Collect, generate, organize, and display data in response to questions, claims, or curiosity

4.4.4A-2 Read, interpret, construct, analyze, generate questions about, and draw inferences from displays of data.

Unit Essential Questions

How does a balance work?    Unit Enduring Understandings

Unit Learning Targets   
Students will ...

Evidence of Learning
Summative Assessment (X days)
Weekly quiz
End of unit exam
Equipment needed:  Chapter test, weekly quiz, calculators, SMART Board, document camera, meter stick, centimeter ruler, balance, gram cubes, beaker, graduated cylinder, wooden blocks and other objects to measure.

Formative Assessments

Lesson Plans
Lesson 1 – Create a balance.
Students will use a ruler and an eraser as a fulcrum and a lever.  They will learn how to measure the relative weights of two objects to determine which object is heavier. They will use pennies as counters to measure the mass of objects. 
45minutes each day, over 4 days.       

Lesson 2
How to correctly use a balance.
The students will work with a pan balance and gram cubes. They will try to balance different objects on both sides of the balance.  They will practice measuring the mass of objects using gram cubes.  They will graph their data.
45minutes each day, over 4 days.

Lesson 3
The students will use a Smart Board activity to balance two sides of a balance.  This will be a review for their quiz.
1 45 minute class

Lesson 4
Quiz on measurement
The students will use a balance to find the mass of different objects. They will record their information on the quiz.
1 45 minute class        

Lesson 5
Measurement in centimeters.
The students will be introduced to how to use a ruler correctly.  They will practice taking measurements of various objects.  They will continue to review how to measure the mass of each object. Data will be recorded on the data sheet. 
45minutes each day, over 5 days.

Lesson 4
Measurement in centimeters
The students will use the internet to make measurements using an interactive program. 
One 45 minute class.

Lesson 5
Measurement Quiz
The students will use a ruler to correctly measure the lengths of various objects.  They will record their answers in centimeters.
One 45 minute class.

Teacher Notes:  Students will be placed in ability level groups.   Each group will have the help of a teacher or a one-on –one aide. 

Curriculum Development Resources
Click the links below to access additional resources used to design this unit: