ALEX Lesson Plan


Inch by Inch

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Linda Ponder
System: Shelby County
School: Inverness Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 5101


Inch by Inch


In this lesson students will do a variety of learning activities while they meet many math, science, and language arts objectives. Students will measure items, analyze and record data, listen to instructions, and follow directions. They will also follow a recipe to make a creative dessert.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 3
17 ) Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l). (Excludes compound units such as cm3 and finding the geometric volume of a container.) Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem. (Excludes multiplicative comparison problems (problems involving notions of "times as much").) (See Appendix A, Table 2.) [3-MD2]

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
4M1c: Estimate the size of an object with respect to a given measurement attribute (e.g., length, perimeter, or area using a grid).

NAEP Statement::
8M1c: Estimate the size of an object with respect to a given measurement attribute (e.g., area).

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.3.17- Identify the appropriate measurement tool to measure liquid; identify the appropriate standard unit of measurement (grams, kilograms, and liters).

MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 3
18 ) Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step "how many more" and "how many less" problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. [3-MD3]

Example: Draw a bar graph in which each square in the bar graph might represent 5 pets.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.3.18- Use a pictograph or bar graph to answer questions about data (limit to three categories).

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
24 ) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.3.3]

a. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. [W.3.3a]

b. Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations. [W.3.3b]

c. Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order. [W.3.3c]

d. Provide a sense of closure. [W.3.3d]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.3.24- Compose narrative texts by introducing characters or a narrator, organizing events in sequence, and providing an ending related to the event sequence.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
38 ) Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.3.2]

a. Capitalize appropriate words in titles. [L.3.2a]

b. Use commas in addresses. [L.3.2b]

c. Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue. [L.3.2c]

d. Form and use possessives. [L.3.2d]

e. Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness). [L.3.2e]

f. Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words. [L.3.2f]

g. Write legibily in cursive. (Alabama)

h. Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings. [L.3.2g]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.3.38- Use a capital letter at the beginning of a first name.
ELA.AAS.3.38a- Use a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence.
ELA.AAS.3.38b- Use punctuation at the end of a sentence.
ELA.AAS.3.38e- Correctly spell high frequency words.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will accurately measure various items in the classroom and record and compare data gathered. Students will measure ingredients for a recipe.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will participate in choral reading of a poem. Students will create their own books with original stories.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Standard/metric rulers, cut pieces of yarn, scissors, yard/meter sticks, data recording sheets for each student (see attachment), recipe and ingredients for "Dirt Pie" (see attachment), the book Inch By Inch, by Leo Lionni

Technology Resources Needed:



I used a stuffed inchworm mascot sitting on the table as I read the book, Inch by Inch, by Leo Lionni. I also had bookworm name plates and stickers for good workers. Research information on the inchworm or find an inchworm for students to observe.

1.)Read the book Inch by Inch, by Leo Lionni. This book is the tale of a friendly inchworm who is in danger of being eaten by several birds. He cleverly inches his way to safety by measuring two tails, a neck, a beak, a pair of legs, a whole bird, and finally -a song. Mention that the book is beautifully illustrated in crayon and textured collage.

2.)Discuss with students the two systems of measurement, standard and metric. Students will probably be familiar with an inch as a standard unit of measurement. Compare inches to centimeters, yards to meters. Go over with the students the directions of measuring activity, including the data recording handout.

3.)Pass out data recording handouts (see attached), scissors, rulers/meter sticks and balls of string. Children may work with partners, if desired.

4.)Circulate and help children as they measure their own neck, head, hand, arm and foot.

5.)Students will record their data as they measure.

6.)As they finish this activity, the teacher will provide a copy of "One Inch Tall" by Shel Silverstein for choral reading. (Click here for the words to the poem)

7.)As a culminating activity, children will make accordian books (use a round shape cut from green tagboard or butcher paper and draw a face on the front page with a felt pen) and write about an inchworm or what it would be like to be only one inch tall.

8.)Children will end the lesson by following a recipe (see attachment) to make "dirt pie" with gummy inchworms on top.

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Assessment Strategies

Teacher observation, oral questions, measurement data sheets, evaluation of stories written


Bring an inchworm to class. Watch it measure things. (An inchworm is the caterpillar lava of a geometrid moth.) Find out more about inchworms. How do they move? Share research in class. Make a list of things that can and cannot be measured, including things in the classroom that can be measured. Talk about other things that cannot be measured - air, dreams, etc. Discuss how accurate measuring with your feet can be. Make small inchworm from a long piece of green construction paper. Mark it in inches and measure things on students' desks.



View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.