Classroom Games to Teach Measurement

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If you're teaching your students to measure objects, you know that it's important to give them plenty of practice. Many students, however, find this practice "boring" and will balk at the "waste of time." Playing some fun games can help them to practice their measuring skills without complaining about boredom.

1 Measurement Scavenger Hunt

This game is a fun way to give students practice in measuring various objects. Just write down a list of different measurements, such as "1 inch, 6 inches, 2 feet, 1 yard" and distribute copies of the list to students. Students should then run around the classroom (or, if possible, a lunchroom or playground) to find objects that measure approximately those lengths. The first student to finish the entire list wins, and you can walk around with her and measure the objects that she found to make sure that they are near-correct. You may want to announce a certain range that is acceptable for each measurement, such as half an inch more or less than the given measurement.

2 Finding the Longest Piece

If your school has a large paper cutter, you can put it to good use in this classroom game. To prepare, you'll need to use a ruler and a pencil to draw several lines at different angles across the full length or width of the paper. (Most of the lines should be drawn diagonally at different angles, rather than horizontally or vertically.) Make several copies of this sample. Then use a paper cutter to slice the paper into the given pieces, and put each set of pieces into a separate envelope. Divide students into groups and give each group one envelope. Groups should then race to discover the longest measurement that they can find of all of the pieces in the envelope. The first group to get the correct answer wins.

3 How to Draw a Picture

To play this game, each student should draw a simple picture using only straight, vertical and horizontal lines. They should then take a separate paper and mark one endpoint of each line with a dot and a letter. (At this point, the second paper should have several dots on it, accompanied by letters, but nothing else.) Students should then write out directions for how to draw the picture using the dots given. For example, the beginning of one student's directions may read, "Draw a 1-inch line up from A. Then draw a 2-inch line toward the right from B." Have students switch papers and see whether they can follow each other's directions to create the appropriate pictures.

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.