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Sizing Up Spout

Students practice measurement skills and estimating lengths and heights when a ruler is not available.

Overview

This CYBERCHASE activity gives students practice in estimating heights and lengths of objects when the measurement tools are not rulers. Two different kinds of measurement units allow students to measure by repeating the measurement with a single smaller object, and to measure with an object that is composed of multiple repeating units.

3-5

Suggested Time

60 minutes

Media Resources

A Cage to Save a Whale QuickTime Video

Part I: Learning Activity

1. Read the following to the students: "Hacker has kidnapped Glowla, the trainer of a cyberwhale named Spout. This has caused Spout to act crazy and the Cybersquad has to find a cage big enough to capture Spout. First, they must figure out what size cage they need. Using Handout 1, you will predict how tall Spout is."

2. Distribute Handout 1: Estimating Spout's Height .

3. Ask the students to complete part one of the handout.

4. When they have finished, ask students to share their methods for estimating the height of the whale.

5. Tell the students that they will watch a video clip to see how Matt and Inez figure out what size cage they need.

6. Show the A Cage to Save a Whale QuickTime Video .

7. Ask students to compare their methods with the methods that Matt and Inez used in the video clip.

8. Ask the students to complete part two of the handout.

9. Discuss with the students their answers to part two. The students may use copies of Glowla to measure the height of the floors. They may also create a one meter measure and use it to measure both Glowla and the floors of the building. Discuss both methods with the students.

Part II: Assessment

Assessment: Level A (proficiency): Students estimate the length of several objects using the length of a sidewalk partition as the unit of measurement.

Assessment: Level B (above proficiency): Students estimate the length of several "Cybergators" using the width of a picket in a picket fence as a unit of measure.

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