Third Grade Math: Learning Measurement

People use measurements every day, from figuring out how many miles it takes to get somewhere to counting the number of days until a birthday party. You can practice by measuring many things in your own home to learn how measurements are used in the real world. Start by measuring the area and perimeter of your yard to plan a garden, or try one of these fun activities.

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How Can I Learn Measurement?

Get Cooking

If you cook or bake, you'll measure ingredients by volume or weight. You can use measuring cups and spoons to portion out the correct amount of ingredients for recipes.

Using a kitchen scale can teach you about weight. Try measuring a 1/2 cup of uncooked rice and then pour the rice onto the kitchen scale. How many ounces is a 1/2 cup of dry rice? Try measuring a 1/2 cup of other dry ingredients, such as chocolate chips, and then weigh them. Do they all weigh the same? Do the weights change when you cook the rice or melt the chocolate chips?

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Plan a measurement scavenger hunt. Have an adult give you a list of measurements and a ruler or flexible tape measure. Go around your home to look for objects that are close to the measurements on the list. (Don't forget your yard!) Make sure to write down the actual measurements of each object that you find in centimeters and inches.

Use Your Body as a Measurement

Have an adult or older brother or sister measure your height. Record how tall you are and then use a tape measure to figure out the perimeter of your bedroom. How many of you does it take to go around your bedroom? Once you do this, try measuring the rest of your family (including pets, if they can stand still long enough) to see how many of them it would take to go around the perimeter of your room. Then do the same thing in other rooms of your house.

Calculate Time Differences and Distance

Do you think of time as a form of measurement? It's measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and so on. The world is divided up into many different time zones, and you may sometimes have to figure out what time it is somewhere else. The continental U.S. is divided into four time zones. Hawaii and Alaska have separate time zones.

For this activity, you'll need a map of the United States. (Find one made for kids.) You'll also need a ruler and some markers. With an adult's help, use the ruler to mark the boundaries of each time zone on the map. Now figure out your time zone. Have an adult mark other places on the map, like where your grandparents live or where Disneyworld is located. Figure out how many hours ahead or behind each location is from where you live. Would your grandma be awake at that time if you wanted to call her?

You can also use the map to calculate distance. Maps have a measurement - called a scale - that often looks like a ruler. It's used to measure distances between locations on the map. Start by using your ruler to measure how many inches are between each of the locations on your map and where you live. Then measure the scale to find out how many miles equal an inch. Compare those measurements with the distances between places to figure out how many miles apart they are.

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