Interactive Ways to Teach Measurement and Measurement Conversions

Looking for some interactive and FUN ways to teach measurement and measurement conversions to your upper elementary students? Check out this post with tons of ideas for making your next math unit on measurement more interactive for your students! #mathactivities #activities #mathgames #games #3rdgrade #thirdgrade #4thgrade #fourthgrade #5thgrade #fifthgrade

I've heard it from teacher after teacher:  "I dread teaching measurement every year."

It's hard to blame them.  There's nothing ground-shaking about measurement.  There's nothing exciting about metric vs. customary.

It's just one of those skills that our students need to have in their back pocket - and so - we teach it.

I'd like to challenge that, however.  If there's anything a teacher is good at, it's spicing up even the most boring content.  So, let's try, shall we.

Here are 5 interactive ways to teach measurement:

Use Study Jams from Scholastic

Study Jams has some great videos to help teach math concepts such as measurement to elementary studnets.

Have you used Study Jams before?  It's a free video library from Scholastic with short animated clips teaching math and science concepts - and there is a whole section devoted to measurement!  When I taught measurement, I used their "units of measurement" video to introduce the difference between the customary and metric systems.

You'll also find videos covering topics like perimeter, elapsed time, measuring temperature, and more!  Simply head to the math section of Study Jams and search for measurement under "See All Topics".  Add one of these videos to your teaching for instant engagement!


The three main types of measuring that I covered with my students during our measurement conversions unit were

length, weight, and capacity.  Discerning between the three can be tricky for students.  One way I helped students to identify what they were measuring was to have them do a sort.  Students read about several real-world measurement scenarios and decide what is being measured:  length, weight, or capacity.  They create a sort like this:

A measurement sort is a perfect activity to kick off your math unit to help students understand the difference between capacity, weight, and length measurement

Try this simple measurement sort with your students for FREE

Introduce your measurement unit with this simple measurement sorting activity

You’ll find it in our Member’s Resource Library under the MATH category.

Not a member yet? It’s FREE to join and you’ll have instant access to an ever-growing library of teacher resources and classroom printables INCLUDING this measurement sort! Fill out the form below and I’ll send you all the details on how to become a member!

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    Task cards can be a teacher's favorite tool for giving students extra practice with a skill.  They are so versatile.  Put them at a center and have students work on them individually or use them for a whole-class game of SCOOT.  Just having math problems on a task card instead of a worksheet gives students that feeling of a game - and it is much more interactive.  I like to use a series of task cards for each measuring skill that students learn throughout my measurement unit.

    If you like the idea of task cards, but love the idea of digital task cards even more, check these out!

    This activity allows students to access the measurement task cards in a digital Link & Think format.


    Give me a topic - I turn it into a game.  It's what I do! :)  And when you take a topic as dry as measurement, playing games is a MUST!  Take classic games like "I have… Who has," "SCOOT", or "memory match" and turn them into games for measurement.

    Playing a simple game like “Measurement Memory Match” is a fun way to practice measurement conversions.

    Another game I created for my measurement unit was called "Fill the Bucket."  This game is played when students are learning about measuring capacity using customary units (cup, pint, quart, and gallon).  The goal of the game is to be the first student to fill up their bucket.  Students pick a "capacity card" from a pile indicating how much they can put in their bucket.  For example, if a student picks up a "1 pint" capacity card, then he/she places a "1 pint" bucket card inside their bucket.

    This measurement math game helps students to understand the metric system for capacity

    This measurement math game helps students to understand the metric system for capacity

    With this visual game, students can easily see that 2 cups = a pint, or 2 pints = 1 quart, and so on.  Students can even make trades (like 2 cups for 1 pint) in order to fit their bucket cards inside their bucket.  There are also some trick playing cards that indicate for students to take-away from their bucket. Students have to fill up their bucket exactly without "spilling over." Students love it!


    A measurement scavenger hunt is a perfect way for students to see concepts of measurement in everyday life.

    Scavenger hunts are one my most favorite interactive ways to have students practice a skill - and it works PERFECTLY for measuring.  Your classroom is FULL of things to measure, so this activity takes no prep at all!  Give your students a scavenger hunt sheet and a ruler and have students explore your classroom looking for objects in the classroom that fit the descriptions on their sheet.  For example, on my scavenger hunt sheet, I had students looking for 2 objects that were both 2 feet long - BUT, I had them represent the actual length of the object that they found in inches.  

    Sneaky teacher!

    Students would record their measurements on their sheet.

    There you have it - 5 interactive ways to taking teaching measurement from drab to fab!

    You can find all of these activities along with teacher lesson plans, student activity sheets, anchor slides and much more in my complete unit on measurement conversions  - all the work is done for you!  Check it out here:

    This unit on measurement and measurement conversions is loaded with teacher and student resources to help make learning measurement interactive and engaging!