Measurement of Length Lesson Plan: Standard and Nonstandard Units

Submitted by: Stefanie Sheridan

Grade Levels: K-3

In this measurement of length lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-3, students use BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore non-standard and standard units for measuring length. Students then use non-standard and standard units to measure the length of various objects and themselves/their classmates.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Learn about non standard and standard units for measuring length
  2. Use non-standard and standard units to measure the length of various objects and themselves


  • Internet access for BrainPOP Jr.
  • Interactive whiteboard (or LCD projector)
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Paper and pencil for each student
  • Non-standard measurement units, such as DVD cases
  • Paperclips
  • Rulers
  • Class set of the Activity


length; width; height; inch; foot; compare; predict; summarize


Preview the Inches and Feet movie and prepare pause points for discussion.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Project the Talk About It feature for the class. Demonstrate how to measure in standard and non-standard units and record the results by typing directly into the form.
  2. Show the Inches and Feet movie to the class.
  3. Pass out the Activity and have students practice measuring with the paperclip (nonstandard unit) and ruler (standard unit.)
  4. Take students outside. Have a student lay down on the sidewalk and demonstrate how to measure from his or her feet to his or her head. Use both nonstandard and standard measures.
  5. Pair students up and have them take turns measuring one another using both measurement tools. Have students record the measurements on a chart or on their own paper (perhaps the back of the activity paper they completed earlier.)
  6. Talk with students about the measurements they recored. Who is taller? Who is shorter?
  7. Bring students back to the classroom and have them write about what they learned. They could write, for example: "John is 10 bricks long. I am 6 bricks long. 10 is 4 more than 6 so John is taller."
  8. As a review or assessment, have students play the Game or take the Easy Quiz or Hard Quiz.

Extension Activity:

This activity could also be completed at home with a parent or caregiver. Share the link to this lesson with students' family members and have them measure one another! Students can write about their findings and compare the height of each family member, then bring their research into school to discuss and share.