written by: Kathy Foust
• edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• updated: 1/20/2012
Do your students know how to measure time and other things? These teaching ideas will show your young students concepts of measurement.
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Students may not be able to understand measurement units such as inches and millimeters, but they can be taught the concept of measurement in general. Use the suggestions below to teach students about measurement concepts. This lesson plan includes information on time as well as helping students to learn the order of things, practice writing their numbers and practice their fine motor skills as they work on the project.
Before beginning the lesson, create a written schedule for the day. Since this is preschool, use symbols to help the children understand the schedule. Once you have the schedule printed out, cut the schedule into strips to that each activity is on its own strip of paper. Pass these strips out to the children along with a piece of construction paper, markers and glue.
Show children how time is written in digital form by writing the times on the board as you are working on them. Ask the children to write the times on the left side of the paper, then glue the appropriate activity slip next to the appropriate time. Throughout the day, set the timer and ask students to double-check their schedules to make sure you are doing the appropriate activity.
Use a kitchen timer to time students doing various activities. This helps them to understand the concept of time as you compare one activity to another. For example, students can be timed running a lap around the playground, then spend the same amount of time standing still. This helps them to understand that time can seem to go by faster at some times than others.
Measure students height, then measure other things compared to them. For instance, you might measure their height, then measure from the floor to the ceiling and tell them how many of them would have to stack up to make it to the ceiling.
Time students as they run ten feet. Ask students to crawl the ten feet back and time them as they do. Which one took longer?
Use concepts of biggest and smallest as you have students line up according to how tall they are.
Ask students how long they think they spend in school a day. Set the timer to go off every hour. Every time the timer strikes an hour, have one of the students mark it on the board.
Use a small hourglass timer to help students to understand the concept of a minute as they alternate activities for every minute. For example, ask students to be quiet for one minute. If they talk, the timer starts over! When that minute is up, ask them to do something silly like hop around like bunny rabbits for one minute. Ask students to help you come up with silly activities to do for one minute at a time.