Measuring Objects Using Different Units and Other Objects

Learning how to measure objects by using different units and other objects is a second grade, Common Core math skill: 2.MD.2. Below we show two videos that demonstrate this standard. Then, we provide a breakdown of the specific steps in the videos to help you teach your class.

Prior Learnings

Your students will have learned how to measure objects through non-standard units, like using paperclips to measure a pencil (1.MD.1). They should also be able to compare objects using terms like longer, shorter, longest, and shortest (1.MD.2). 

Future Learnings

In the future, understanding how to measure objects with a ruler will help your students expand on and apply the concept elsewhere. Students will be able to make a line plot, measure objects, and place those measurements on the plot (2.MD.9). Your students will also be able to use rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch (3.MD.3) and apply “linear measurement to measure perimeter and area” (3.MD.5- 8).

Common Core Standard: 2.MD.2 - Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements

Students who understand this principle can:

  1. Use “length” and “measure” properly.
  2. Measure objects using two or more different tools.
  3. Describe and measure an object in two ways and understand the relationships between the measurements and different units.

2 Videos to Help You Teach Common Core Standard: 2.MD.2

Below we provide and breakdown two videos to help you teach your students this standard.

Video 1: Measure Sea Creatures in Different Units

The video starts by explaining that when people measure an object, they want to know how long that object is. It then shows that there are certain units of measurement that are standard: inches, feet, yards, millimeters, centimeters, and meters.

You can use a ruler to measure in standard units. The video briefly explains how to use a ruler, and then demonstrates using it to measure a 3 inch clownfish.

Then, it explains that larger units of measurements can be broken down into smaller units of measurement.

  1. 1 yard = 3 feet.
  2. 1 foot = 12 inches.
  3. 1 meter = 100 centimeters.
  4. 1 centimeter = 10 millimeters.

The video explains that the smaller the unit, the more units will be used to measure an object. It then shows this through 2 examples.

  1. An eel equals 1 foot, or 12 inches.
  2. A goldfish equals 4 centimeters, or 40 millimeters.
    a. The size of the fish did not change, but the smaller the unit, the more will be used to measure an object.

Video 2: Measure Things with Different Units and Objects

The video starts by helping Andy and Julie measure their math book. Andy says the book is 5 inches long, but Julie says it is about 13 centimeters long. Boddle says that both Andy and Julie are correct, and that they just used different units of measurement.

Boddle explains that objects can be measured in many different ways, measuring different objects to demonstrate the idea.

  1. A pencil is 5 paper clips long.
  2. A paper clip is 3 jelly beans long.
  3. The video counts by 3s and finds the pencil is 15 jelly beans long.

Next, Boddle measures a candy bar.

  1. The candy bar is about 3 inches long.
  2. The candy bar is about 8 centimeters long.

The video ends by reminding students that measurements can be done in lots of different ways.

Want more practice?

Give your students additional standards-aligned practice with Boddle Learning. Boddle includes questions related to Comparing and Measuring Lengths plus rewarding coins and games for your students to keep them engaged. Click here to sign up for Boddle Learning and create your first assignment today.

*Information on standards is gathered from The New Mexico Public Education Department's New Mexico Instructional Scope for Mathematics and the Common Core website.