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Lesson Plan

Measurement: Crafts: Cereal Hands and Feet
 Subject: Math Grade span: K to 3 Duration: 20 to 30 minutes
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Math Tools

Description:

This is one example of how math tools can be used to help students explore and develop concepts and skills in measurement. Students will use nonstandard units of measurement to find the area of their hand or foot print. Then they will compare findings, and discuss their discoveries as a group. This lesson is related to the "Hands & Feet" lesson for grades 2-5. The ideas from that lesson, which focuses primarily on the Geometry standard by finding the area of irregular objects, can be an extension for this one.

Learning Goals:

• Use nonstandard units of measurement
• Understand the basic concept of area
• Compare and order objects using given attributes
• Explain and justify their thinking

Materials:

• Construction Paper
• Pencils or Markers
• Glue & tape
• Box of similarly shaped/ sized cereal (Cheerios, Fruit Loops, Chex)

Preparation:

• Sort through the cereal box and discard any pieces that may have been broken due to packaging and are not of equal size
• Young children or students with special needs may not have the dexterity to accurately trace their hand or foot. If this is the case, plan to assist this student. Asking another student to help may also be appropriate.

What to Do:

• Ask children to trace around their hand or foot on construction paper to make a print.
• Have students glue cereal pieces on to their print so that the pieces are close together but not overlapping.
• Once students have completed this, have them count the number of pieces it took to completely cover their print and record this number below the print.
• Encourage students to share the number of pieces it took them with the group.
• The number of pieces will vary; ask the students why there are so many different answers. (Responses might include, different sized hands, different sized cereal, pieces closer together than others) Discuss with students the importance of using a standard unit of measurement--for instance that it gives a consistent basis for comparison.
• If some students traced their hands with fingers spread out and others together, ask them if the number of cereal pieces to cover the hands would vary.
• Once the glue dries, have students order the prints from fewest to greatest number of cereal pieces. Have the students share observations that they make (e.g., "the number of cereal pieces gets larger as the print gets larger)

Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):

• Oral articulation of mathematical thinking, (e.g. use of appropriate mathematical vocabulary, rational to steps taken to solve problems.)
• The ability to draw reasonable conclusions regarding area and nonstandard units of measurement
• Comments and answers that indicate that students are listening to, monitoring, and applying the problem solving strategies of their peers

Standards:
Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.

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