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Lesson Plans
The Sea and Me: A Measurement Lesson
3rd–5th Grade
Objective Objective
  • Students will use measurement skills to compare the relative size of sea animals.
Materials Materials Needed
  • Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? by Robert E. Wells
  • Adding machine paper roll
  • Tape measure
  • 6 rocks (as paperweights)
  • Butcher paper sheets (large enough for students to lie down on)
  • “The Sea and Me” Record Sheet
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Scissors

Preparation: Cut a strip of adding machine paper to match the average length of each sea animal below:
      Blue Whale: 94 ft.
      Orca: 32 ft.
      Bottlenose Dolphin: 12 ft.
Label each strip with the name of the animal. (Do not write the length of the animal on the strip.)

Introduction Introduction

Tell students that they are going to learn about measurement and relative size. Then read Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? by Robert E. Wells. After you have finished the book, ask students to share examples of relative size that are given in the book (e.g., a blue whale is big compared to other animals but small compared to Mount Everest).

Finally, tell students that they are going to compare the sizes of three sea animals. Then they will compare their own size to the three animals.

Procedure Procedure

  1. Take students outside to a large grassy area. Bring six rocks, the three strips of adding machine paper, a tape measure and a few pencils. Have each student bring a ruler.
  2. Hold up the paper strips and explain that each strip is cut to the length of a different sea animal: blue whale, orca and bottlenose dolphin. Ask students to predict which animal is longest and which is shortest.
  3. Have students help you roll out the strips. Use rocks as weights to keep the strips in place.
  4. Divide the class into three groups. Instruct each group to use the tape measure to measure a different strip in inches, and (depending on the level of the students) convert the length to feet. Once they have found the length, have them write it on the strip next to the animal’s name.

Guided Practice Guided Practice

  1. Return to the classroom and invite each group to reveal the length of their animal. Write the lengths on the board.
  2. Tell students that they are going to compare the lengths of their bodies to the lengths of the sea animals.
  3. Divide students into pairs and give each pair a large sheet of butcher paper.
  4. Have students take turns lying on the butcher paper while their partner uses a ruler to measure them from head to toe.
Independent Practice Independent Practice

  1. Give each student a copy of “The Sea and Me” Record Sheet.
  2. Instruct students to fill in the chart with the correct measurements.
  3. Have them to use the information on the chart to answer the questions.

the 3rd–5th Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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