Lesson plan

2. Practice Converting Metric Units of Length (FP)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.4.MD.A.1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/4/MD/A/1
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.A.1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/4/NBT/A/1
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP7
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Lesson objective: Convert metric units of length from larger units to smaller units by looking at the relationship between the metric system and the base 10 system.

This lesson helps to build procedural skill with metric conversions. A place value table is used here because it supports the relationship between the metric system and the the base 10 system. This work develops students' understanding that a digit in one place represents ten times what it represents in the place to the right.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 7 (look for and make use of structure) as they use a place value table and its relationship to the metric system. Students should look at the metric prefixes for length and recognize kilo- means 1000 and a kilometer is 1000 times larger than a meter.  Cent- means one hundredth, and a meter is 100 times larger than a centimeter.  

Key vocabulary:

  • centimeter
  • kilometer
  • meter