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Lesson Plan for Teaching Measurement to Elementary School Students

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Amber is a teacher and online writer with lots of experience to share with readers.

Teach your kids about measurement with this role-play activity!

Teach your kids about measurement with this role-play activity!

Using Stuffed Animals to Teach Measurement!

This lesson will use stuffed animals to help elementary school students practice measuring. They will get to pretend to be doctors or veterinarians, which they're sure to love! You will find everything you need here to complete this engaging lesson in your own classroom.



Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.


Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.


Objective: At the end of the lesson, the student will be able to measure the height, width, and circumference of an object using both centimeters and inches (to the nearest 4th unit) by selecting the appropriate measuring tool.

Target: Measure objects using correct measuring tools.

Objective: The learner will be able to reflect on past measurement experiences to form reasonable measurement predictions.

Target: Predict (within 3 units) the measurement of an object.


Materials and resources:

  • 1 Record Sheet per student (This can be customized for the needs of your lesson)
  • -Rulers and measuring tape
  • Students are asked prior to the lesson to bring in a stuffed animal or toy of their choice. Some extra toys will be needed for students who forget or are unable to bring something from home.
Sample sheet

Sample sheet


Step 1: Ask students to clear their desks of everything but the stuffed animals they brought. Provide a stuffed animal for any student who did not bring one. Introduce the lesson by thanking students for bringing their animals in, and tell students you are excited that their animal friends could join us in the classroom for "checkups."

Step 2: Activate students' prior knowledge and make this assignment more relevant, by asking if any students have ever been to the doctor. Did the doctor take any measurements such as height, weight, etc.? The doctor probably recorded their measurements. Tell students they will also be making some measurements on their "patients", and recording their results on a record sheet...just like a real doctor or veterinarian!

Step 3: Pass out record sheets to each student. Lead students through making predictions about the height, width, and circumference of their stuffed animal. Make sure they know they are to make educated guesses based on their knowledge and past experiences with measurement. Students may choose to make their predictions in either inches or centimeters, whichever they feel most comfortable with. However, they must indicate which unit they are using. (5 minutes).

Step 4: Briefly give directions for the activity. Students begin with a quick sketch of their "patient". Students will work with partners, so their partners can help them hold the measuring tools, answer questions, and check each other's answers for accuracy. The first task will be to determine which measuring tools should be used for each measurement. For example, you can not use a ruler to measure the circumference, but a measuring tape will work well. The height of smaller stuffed animals can be measured with a ruler, but a very large animal may need a yardstick or tape measure, as another example. Students will measure the height, width, and circumference of the nearest fourth unit. They will need to record answers for both inches and centimeters. Ask for/answer any questions from students before beginning. (4 minutes)

Step 5: Model/remind students of what height, width, and circumference are. (1 minute)

Step 6: Give students the opportunity to make their measurements. While they are working, walk around and observe. Ask questions that further extend learning, such as "Why did you decide to use a yardstick instead of a ruler?" or "Was his width or height greater?" Help students who seem to be struggling. If students finish early, ask them to add more detail to their sketches or measure the arms and legs of their animals! (Give students approx. 10-12 minutes to work on activity).

Example Record Sheet. This sheet asks for predictions, measurements, and even a fun sketch

Example Record Sheet. This sheet asks for predictions, measurements, and even a fun sketch


Gain the students' attention and reflect on the activity as a class, specifically student predictions. Were they close or were the predictions far off? How could students use what they learned today to make more realistic predictions in the future? For example, "Oh so you predicted your animal would be 1,000 inches tall? How would you change your thinking about measuring smaller items in the future?"

Another point of discussion could be how students determined which measurement tools to use. Were there any other parts of this activity that were challenging?

Allow students to share how their checkups went, and if any of the measurements surprised them. End by saying you are glad to hear all animals are healthy, and you are so happy they made it to school for checkups today! (5 Minutes)

Students working together to decide if the animal's nose should count in the measurement. This lesson encourages problem solving

Students working together to decide if the animal's nose should count in the measurement. This lesson encourages problem solving

Let Us Know!

Did you try this lesson in your classroom? If so, let us know how it went in the comments below!