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Second Grade Math: Measuring Liquid

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 9/13/2012

This is a fun, hands-on second grade math activity that demonstrates various ways to measure liquids. Students will create their own measuring device as well as using those that already exist. This is a fun lesson plan that will introduce the concepts of measuring liquids.

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    An Interactive Lesson Plan

    In this second grade math lesson plan, students learn various ways to measure liquids.This is a fun and interactive lesson plan students will enjoy. For this lesson plan, you will need a liquid measuring cup and enough of a liquid to give each student one cup. Water is fine, but to make it more fun you may want to use juice. You will also need enough paper or styrofoam cups to give one to each student.

    Before beginning this second grade math lesson plan, students should have some measuring knowledge. To refresh their knowledge, teachers may want to talk with students about various types of measuring devices they may have commonly seen used. Discuss with students what types of things are measured with what types of devices. This information will make this second grade math lesson plan a way for teachers to reinforce students' already existing knowledge while introducing new concepts as well.

    Some ways to assess their existing knowledge is to ask them how to measure a variety of items. For instance, can liquid be measured with a ruler? Can height be measured on a scale? Discuss some items they may have seen their parents using around the house. Once the discussion is over, move on to the rest of this lesson.

    Instruct each student go to the faucet and get what they believe will be a half of a cup of water. Have the students mark on the outside of the cup about where the top of the water line is in their cup. Ask students to drink their water. Now go to each student and using the measuring cup, give them each exactly half a cup of water or juice. How does an actual half cup of water compare with what they thought was a half a cup of water?

    Now, measure out a full cup of water. Pour the full cup of water into the empty jug from the water or juice. Fill the measuring cup again with one cup of water. Discuss the following questions with your students.

    • Why do you need a measuring cup to measure when cooking? Does a cup of water look the same in a bowl or a pot as it does in a measuring cup?
    • Why do the amounts look so different even though they are the same?
    • For what purpose or purposes would you use a measuring cup at home?

    Ask students to go home and observe why they would use a measuring cup at home. Encourage students to discuss this with their parents. What do their parents use measuring cups for? Talk about the means for universal measures and show students a set of measuring cups. Let them understand that each cup in the set measures a different amount of liquid.