Feet and Yards and Miles... Oh My!

Contributor: Rachel Lewis. Lesson ID: 12219

If you want to measure your yard, what would you use? How would you measure your feet? You don't have to travel miles to learn to convert different units of measurement! Try your hand at feet, etc.!


Measurement and Data

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


You are a test pilot flying an airplane. You travel 1,760 yards, but the designer needs to know how many miles you flew.

  • How do you figure it out?

There are different units we can use to measure length or distance.

Units tell us the quantity or value. We can measure small lengths, like the length of your pencil, with the unit inches.

  • What if we wanted to measure larger lengths or distances?

We can use feet, yards, or miles!

Compare inches, feet, yards, and miles when you read US Standard Lengths by MathIsFun.com.

  • What unit would you use to measure a guitar?

If you said, "Yards," you are correct.

  • What unit would you use to measure the distance an airplane travels?

Right! We use miles to measure long distances.

Learn more about feet, yards, and miles watching Learn about feet, yards, and miles - measurement lesson for 3rd grade math from Math Mammoth:

Now, on a sheet of paper, create your own length conversion chart.

  • How many inches make up a foot?
  • How many feet are in a yard?
  • How many feet and yards make up a mile?

Include the following conversions:

  • 12 inches = 1 foot
  • 3 feet = 1 yard
  • 5,280 feet = 1,760 yards = 1 mile

We can use conversions to change one unit to another. For example, look at the question at the beginning of this lesson:

  • The airplane travels 1,760 yards. How many miles did it travel?
  • How many miles are in 1,760 yards?
  • We know from our conversion chart that there are 1,760 yards in 1 mile. So, the airplane traveled one mile.

Look at another example: How many yards are in 5 feet?

Try it on your own using your conversion chart.

If you said 1 yard, 2 feet, you are right! How did we get that answer?

  • First, we know that 3 feet = 1 yard.
  • Then, we can subtract 3 feet from 5 feet: 5 feet - 3 feet = 2 feet.
  • So, 5 feet is equal to 1 yard, 2 feet.
  • Why do you think it is important to have different units of measurement? Share your thoughts with a parent or teacher.

Now, go to the Got It? section to use feet, yards, and miles in a measurement activity.

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