If the Shoe Fits

Contributor: Sharon Hamilton. Lesson ID: 10822

How big is your foot? Is it a foot long? Does a queen-size bed fit a queen? Watch some fun videos, poke around the house, and do some online work to learn about the different types of measurements!


Measurement and Data

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Long ago, before there were units of measurement, people used their body parts for measuring. Today, you will determine length by measuring with your feet!

Time to Discover!

  1. Find a partner.
  2. Find part of a wall in a room you can measure by standing heel-to-toe.
  3. Walk heel-to-toe from the beginning to the end of the wall, counting your steps as you walk.
  4. Have your partner record your steps.
  5. Now switch and have your partner repeat the steps while you record the steps he or she took.
  6. Compare the measurements.
  7. Complete the steps using your hand and thumb or finger to measure more items in the room. For example, you could measure the sofa using your hand, or you could measure a picture frame using your thumb.

Discuss: Were the measurements the same? Why? Do you think measuring with body parts is a good way to determine measurement? Explain your thinking and discuss with your teacher or parent.

Did you discover that you and your partner got different measurements? Unless you wear the exact same shoe size, have the exact same hand, and finger or thumb length, your measurements are going to be different.

You have just discovered why we have standard measurements. A standard unit is a commonly used measurement like yards, feet, and inches.

Watch the video How Big Is A Foot Animated (below):

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As you watch the video, focus on why they use the king's foot as a standard unit of measurement. When you have finished watching, discuss this with your teacher or parent.

Now it's time to take a closer look at common units of measurement we use here in the United States. Read through U.S. Standard Lengths at mathsisfun.com to learn more.

Take a moment to relax and watch this video by MathCrush (below). Take notes as you watch so you remember how you use and convert common units of measurement:

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Measurement - Distance and Length (USA Customary System of Measurement) from Math Crush on Vimeo.

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