Welcome to the How Big Is A Foot?  web lesson. This web lesson
features the book How Big Is A Foot? by Rolf Myller. The book
provides students with an idea of what life was like before standard
units of measurement were available to use. It also encourages them
to learn to use the tools that are available to accurately measure a
given object.
 For this lesson students will:
  • predict how/if their environment would differ without using     standard units of measurement.  
  • create their own unit of measurement.
  • select the appropriate tools for measuring a given object.
  • measure given objects within the classroom and compare their findings to those of their classmates.
  • record their findings below their predictions.
  • visit the website posted to practice measurement. 

The following standards will be used in this lesson.


Tennessee State Standards 


Reading Content Standard 1.0

The student will develop the reading and listening skills necessary for word recognition, comprehension, interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and appreciation of print and non-print text.

 Learning Expectations

1.11 Develop skills to facilitate reading to learn in a variety of content areas.

1.12 Read independently for a variety of purposes.

1.13 Experience various literary genres.

1.14 Develop and maintain a motivation to read.  
Writing Content Standard 2.0

The student will develop the structural and creative skills of the writing process necessary to produce written language that can be read, presented to, and interpreted by various audiences.

Learning Expectations

2.02 Write for a variety of purposes.

2.08 Write frequently across content areas.

2.10 Write in response to literature. 


Math Content Standard 4.0

The student will become familiar with the units and processes of measurement in order to use a variety of tools, techniques, and formulas to determine and to estimate measurements in mathematical and real-world problems.

Learning Expectations

4.1 Demonstrate understanding of units of measure and measurable attributes of objects.

4.2 Apply appropriate techniques and tools to determine measurements.


Implementation Overview


Launch/Pre-Reading Activity

Print the question, "What do you think the world would look like if there were not any tools used for measuring? Explain your thoughts,"  from the Launch page. Have the students  answer the question on the print out.


Explore/During Reading Activity

Print the questions you will be asking from the Explore page. Read the book How Big Is A Foot? by  Rolf Myller. Use think-alouds with the students while reading the text using these questions:

1.) Who is having the bed made?


2.) Why is he having it made?


3.) What do you think is going to happen?


4.) Can you show me with your hands how big you think the bed will be?


5.) Why was the bed too small for the queen?


6.) What are some tools we use for measuring to make sure everyone gets the same measurement?


Apply-Summarize/Post Reading Activity

After reading the book, students will get into pairs, trace one of their feet (one foot per child), and cut it out. The teacher will model for the students how to measure using a cutout. He/she will also instruct the class on how to select the appropriate tool for measuring and model measurement using each. This may be done with small groups or the whole class.

The students will use their cutout to measure the length of the door, the width of their desk, and the width of the teacher's desk. Each person will record answers for their partner while he/she measures. A worksheet for recording measurements can be printed from the Apply/Summarize page.The teacher will rotate the groups for measuring the items as nescessary. The students will  measure the same items using the appropriate tools, and discuss their answers with their partner.

Once this is complete, the students will write their findings on their print out below their prediction. They will also determine if their prediction was accurate or not and explain their reasoning. Have some students start to work on recording their findings, while others practice measurement at the computers using the site http://www.funbrain.com/measure/.  


Here is a list of materials you will need to perform the lesson:


Book-How Big Is A foot?

Construction Paper


Pencils, Pens, or Markers

Rulers, Yard Sticks, Measuring Tapes (one of each per group)

Computers with Internet


Print out of question from the Launch page for each student

Print out of questions from the Explore page for teacher




Throughout this web lesson, students have learned the importance of using a standard unit of measurement. They also created their own standard unit and gained first hand experience of  the consequences that occur when measurement is not standard. Furthermore, students were required to use  critical thinking skills to determine the appropriate tool for use in measuring various objects. The unit was concluded with an interactive exercise for practicing measurement.


Important Note


It is important to remember that all students are unique learners. This lesson may be adjusted and/or modified to meet the needs of students on an individual level.


Information and Picture Sources