The Leaning Tower of … Ice?

Contributor: Kaitlyn Zimmerman. Lesson ID: 12481

The forecaster on TV tells you how much it's rained or snowed. The doctor writes down how tall you are and how much you weigh. The map says it's 20 miles to the amusement park. How do they know this?


Measurement and Data, Scientific Method

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Brain Check: How many legs does a centipede have? I don't think I want to pick it up and count them! How would you know the answer?

  • Have you ever heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

No, it's not made of pizza!

  • Have you ever heard of the Leaning Tower of Ice?

Probably not, because this is the name of Dr. Z’s latest project. He is building an ice tower! But it is not just any ordinary ice tower; it is one that he can measure, and YOU have been invited to help measure it, too!

When measuring an object, you need to use a ruler. A ruler, however, has two different types of measurement scales for length: standard and metric. Day-to-day, at least in the United States, you use the standard system of measurement, which is inches.

  • Do you remember how many inches are in a foot?

If you guessed that 12 inches are in a foot, you are right! However, in the experiment today, you will be using both the standard system AND the metric system of measurement. The metric system of measurement uses centimeters instead of inches. If you have a ruler with you (be sure to grab one now if you do not have one), you will see that centimeters are smaller than inches. This is because about 2-½ centimeters equal 1 inch. When doing a scientific discovery, you should always use centimeters. But in this lesson, you will be able to use inches and centimeters to see how they compare with one another.

  • Are you ready to get started?

Be prepared: it might get a little chilly with all that ice!

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Wow! Who knew you could measure ice with a ruler!

  • What else can you measure?
  • Do you have a pencil to measure?
  • How about measuring an eraser or the length of the toaster?

Don't forget to measure them in both inches and centimeters!

If you have the Discover! Science textbook, be sure to check out some additional pages on measurement to get a better understanding of what Dr. Z was talking about!

  • Do you think you are becoming a pro at measuring objects in both inches and centimeters?

If so, then here is a question for you:

  • If I have a straw that is 11 inches long, how long is it in centimeters?

Once you have the answer, continue on to the Got It? section to check what's in your brain and add some more!

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