top of page
  • Writer's pictureKristy Johnson

Hands on Measurement

How do you make connections between what your students are learning in your measurement unit and how they will use it in the real world? My favorite way is to

center everything around word problems and hands on application. My 6 week measurement unit includes everything to need, except the final test, to teach your students all about measurement. This post talks about the variety of manipulatives you can use along with the unit to give your students a hands on, real world understanding.

Capacity / Volume:

Liquid measurement is so important to understand because that is what we use when we are cooking. Whether you teach customary units, metric units, or both, this Liquid Measuring Set is perfect for your classroom. You can use these as part of your mini lesson, small group, or even centers (if your students are good at following directions).

  • In small groups, I would put a certain amount in a container and have students pour that into smaller units in order to find equivalents. This allows students to work within one system of measurement AND you could have them compare different units within both systems.

Weight / Mass:

Weight and mass are a little bit harder to teach hands on, on a larger scale. We usually talk about our weight, but that is harder for students to convert into another number. So in my classroom we only focus on smaller numbers and comparing those weights with other amounts. For mass, I use these Hexagon Weights. They come with gram, 5 gram, 10 gram, and 20 gram pieces. Then, I use this balance scale for students to compare the different mass on each side using the hexagon weights. This scale can only be used for comparing, not actually weighing. Therefore, I have students put different amounts in and try and find equivalent weight with different numbers or with objets around the classroom.

Unfortunately, I have not found a set for customary weight! I would love to find a set with ounces and a pound for students to use. If you know of one, please share it with me.


Length is so much fun hands on. You can have students measure the length of almost anything in your classroom. To keep a variety of lengths, I always start out having students measure a classmate, the height of their desk, the shortest pencil in their desk, the length of the classroom, and a book. Then, I let them measure 5 other objects of their choice. I love this Pack of 10 Yardstick/Meter Stick set for my classroom. This way students can work in groups of 2-3 to measure the lengths of the objects. One side is measured in inches on the yardstick and the other side is measured in centimeters to show a meter.

What hands-on manipulatives do you always use when teaching measurement? Tell me in the comments below!

96 views0 comments


bottom of page