by Katherine LaVange

Introducing Customary Units of Weight and Capacity

Goals and Objectives

NC SCOS Objectives

> Multiply and divide fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals.
COMPETENCY GOAL: The learner will demonstrate an understanding and use of the properties and relationships in geometry, and standard units of metric and customary measurement.
> Convert measures of length, area, capacity, weight and time expressed in a given unit to other units in the same measurement system.

Teacher-specified Objectives

Students will:

  • Identify common customary units of weight and capacity and their equivalents by participating in a class discussion and completing the Customary Units of Weight and Capacity chart.
  • Recall information about converting from large units to small units by completing a class assignment and a homework assignment. 
  • Reflect on why this important by completing a journal entry.



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Materials and Equipment

Students will complete the attached charts as a class.  The charts will be displayed on the overhead and the class will fill in the blank spaces as a group.  The attached workbook assignment is part of the student's homework.  Needed for the demonstration are the following:

  • 1 small measuring cup
  • 1 pint container
  • 1 quart container
  • 1 gallon container
  • water 

Safety Issues

Today the class will be helping with an experiment.  Make sure the students stay calm so as not to knock anything over or spill any water.  Keep the class seated during the experiment and have only the selected students come forward as they are called on. 


Notes/Reminders to self

During the experiment, be sure to pick students who have not already been called on a lot.  Be fair in choosing students to participate: chose males and females, students from the back and from the front, students from the left side and from the right side.  Help the students during the experiment so that they do not spill more water than is necessary.

Key Vocabulary/Concepts

Students will learn and recall the following terms and their equivalents:

  • ounce
  • 1 pound = 16 ounces
  • 1 ton = 2,000 pounds
  • fluid ounce
  • 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
  • 1 pint = 2 cups
  • 1 quart = 2 pints
  • 1 gallon = 4 quarts

Students will remember the following rules:

  • When changing from larger units to smaller units, multiply.
  • When changing from smaller units to larger units, divide.

Instructional Strategy

Focus and Review





  • 4 yd = __?__ ft
  • 72 in = __?__ yd
  • 6.5 ft = __?__ in
  • 4 mi = __?__ yd

After most students are finished (10-15 min), select one student from the cards to roll the dice, and proceed to the corresponding activity from the list in Lesson 2.

Statement of Objective

Tell the class, "Today we will be learning about ways to measure length and capacity.  We are going to be doing an experiment together to help us figure out the equivalent units."

Sequence of Instruction

  • Hand out POW.
  • Hand back homework from Thursday night and answer any questions.
  • Hand back worksheets from Friday and answer any questions.


  • Check to see that students have homework while they work on the warm-up.
  • Go over selected homework problems.
  • Ask the students if they have any questions, and go over the problems they ask about.


  • Introduce Customary Units of Measuring Weight and Capacity
  • Begin the lesson by asking students questions about weight:
    • What are some different types of units that we use to measure weight?
    • What units do we use to measure our weight?
    • What units do we use to measure milk from the grocery store?  
    • Continue asking questions until all of the following vocabulary words are listed in the Customary Units of Capacity Chart:
      • Fluid ounce
      • Cup
      • Pint
      • Quart
      • Gallon
      • Ounce
      • Pound
      • Ton

Guided Practice

  • Lead the class in a demonstration/discussion of the Mini Lab from 6th grade textbook.
    • Ask the class how many cups they think they will need to fill the pint container.  Depending on the number they chose, chose that many students to be stand up and represent "cups."  Have the "cups" pour water from the cup container to the pint container until the pint container is full.  Record this number on the chart.
    • Ask the class how many pints they think they will need to fill up the quart container.  Choose that many students to stand up and represent "pints."  Repeat the end of step 1.
    • Ask the class how many quarts they think they will need to fill the gallon container.  Choose that many students to represent "quarts."  Repeat the end of step 1.
    • Have students individually work on answering the questions from the lab.  Put questions on overhead and have students answer on their own sheet of paper.

Independent Practice

  • Give the students their homework assignment, and have them work on it until the end of the period.
    • Textbook p. 269 # 12-16, 31, 32.
    • Practice Skills Workbook p.46
    • During this time, dismiss class by rows for bathroom break, beginning at 9:40


Closure: Begin at about 9:50

  • Have students take three minutes at the end of class to write about what they learned today.  Ask questions to help them get started:
    • What did you learn today?
    • How will this help you in your everyday lives?
    • How can you relate what you learned today to other subjects?
  • After three minutes, ask for volunteers to share what they wrote with the class.  Continue sharing for five minutes, or until it is time to leave.


Reflection on Lesson

This lesson went very well, and most everything ran according to plan.  The students seemed interested in participating in the experiment, and when I asked for volunteers, the entire class raised their hands so I had no trouble finding participation.  The one thing about this lesson that I would change is the actual experiment.  Becuase there was not much room to set up the experiment, and there was only one sink, there was a lot of down time during the demonstration.  After each student poured the cup/pint/quart, I had to fill it back up in the sink, which was time consuming.  To fill the time I asked questions and kept talking so the students were not too bored, but I still felt like there is some way to make the demonstration run better.  Other than the demonstration, there was no time during the lesson that I felt didn't go well.  As usual, there were no behavior problems, and the students all worked well on their assignments after the demonstration.

Goals and Objectives

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