Teaching measurement is so TRICKY. Since measurement isn't a skill students typically use, and it is heavy on vocabulary, kids find it hard to convert from one unit to another.

Let's face it: the pace of the curriculum is fast, and it's a lot to take in. That's why, after the initial vocabulary lesson, I use some mnemonic tricks to help students solve problems. Some the teachers don't like tricks, and that's understandable. I like to use what works for my students. Hopefully, you can take some tips and see what works for you.

## 1. Teaching Measurement Using Relatable Objects

It is important for kids to know the size of each unit at the beginning of the lesson. I use objects, posters, anchor charts, and resources for their notebooks to give students a visual image of each unit.

Anchor charts and posters serve as a guide for teachers and students to relate metric and customary measurements to real objects. You can bring these objects into school for students to feel and see. I have students keep this in their folder for reference.

## 2. Teaching Measurement with Videos and Books

__Kingdom of Gallon__ by Cole Wilkes

__How Long and How Wide__ by Brian Cleary is a cute book about customary and metric length.

__How Big is a Foot __by Rolf Mylier is a cute book about having a standard form of measurement.

**3. Converting Metric Measurement**

**King Henry Doesn't Usually Drink Chocolate Milk**

Starting with metric lengths. The metric system is based on powers of ten. The prefixes describe the measurements of each size.

The mnemonic "King Henry Doesn't Usually Drink Chocolate Milk" gives students a fun, memorable way to keep the prefixes straight (you will also find the saying "King Henry Died By Drinking Chocolate Milk"). The word "Usually" is the base measurement (meter, liter, gram).

Each measurement to the left is 10 times greater than the measurement to the right. When you convert from larger to smaller units, you multiply. As you can see in the picture, I like to have a cartoon King Henry who jumps to his new conversion.

As you can see, I label the letters they will use and cross out the letters not expected in our curriculum.

**How to Use King Henry... **

5 **meters** = ___________ millimeters

1. Place your pencil on meter. Count how many "steps/jumps" it takes King Henry to move from meter to millimeter (3).

2. Move the decimal that many times in the direction King Henry moves. You can reinforce that there are 1000 more mm in a m. (Multiply by 1000)

5. meters = 5000. mm

3. When moving from smaller unit to larger unit, follow the same steps, but move in the other direction (left). Remind students that the decimal moves in the same way King Henry moves. (Divide by 1000)

5 meters = ___________ kilometers

5. m = .005 km

**4. Converting Customary Measurement**

**Welcome to the Queen's Kingdom**

Do you remember the Gallon Man?

The Kingdom of Gallon is a fun and effective way to help students remember different capacity units. It's like a cute story that makes it easier for students to understand the relationship between customary capacity units.

There are numerous videos available on YouTube that explain the concept using this story. Here's a brief summary you can share with your students.

**5. Teach Students to Line up the Units**

It's important for students to know that when they convert from larger to smaller units, they multiply, and when they convert from smaller to larger units, they divide.

If your students can keep that straight, awesome! If they need more support, here is a way for them to convert using a system.

Line up the conversions

Insert the known units.

If the numbers are diagonal, multiply the numbers.

If the numbers are stacked, divide the numbers.

## 5. Practice Doesn't have to be Boring

I'm always looking for great new ways to teach my students. If you have any new suggestions, I'd love to hear from you!

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