Metric Conversions Activity for 5th and 6th Grades

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metric conversion matching activity

​I’ve got a metric conversions matching activity for you to use with your upper elementary or middle school math students!

 

After measuring with meter sticks and then finding the decimeter measurement of our classroom one day, we then worked on matching metric measurements.

Students were in groups of 2-3 students to complete this math activity.


Metric Conversions Matching Activity Steps

1) I gave each group 21 cards (7 sets of 3). Each set of 3 had equivalent measurements, in meter, centimeter, and millimeter form, but the measurements were not labeled with their units.
2) Students set up “Meter,” “Centimeter,” and “Millimeter,” headings on their boards, and then had to determine which measurements to put in which categories, so that the measurements in each column would be equivalent.

 

For example, they had to place the cards 7, 700, 7,000 under meter, centimeter, and millimeter, respectively. (Example in picture.)
I used several similar numbers, so students couldn’t just go by the initial digit to match the numbers:-) Most students did a good job with this, placing the numbers in the appropriate columns.

 
 
metric conversions matching activity
Students place the numbers in the correct column.
 
metric conversions matching activity
Students add the dm column

After the Metric Conversions Matching Activity

metric conversions chart

After I checked each group to be sure they were correct, I instructed students to add a decimeter column and write the equivalent decimeter measurements.

 

​Most students used the poster pictured here to be sure that they place their decimeter column correctly. I believe every group in every class had their decimeter measurements correct….they did a great job figuring this out together!

After having their decimeter measurements checked, students had to make observations of the numbers in each column….

  • how did the numbers change as they moved from one column to another,
  • what is the relationship between the numbers?

These observations were written in their journals. Some observations were:

  • “The numbers get bigger as the units get smaller”
  • “Every time you move right, you add a zero (except when there’s a decimal)”
  • “Multiply by 10 every time you go to the right.” 

The class observations got better later in the day (because those kids had science before math and had gotten some additional information!) Hopefully, getting this information in two different classes, in two different ways, will help the students to have a better grasp of the information than they have in the past (usually this info is just taught in science.)

The Metric Matching, which you can download below, has 2 different sets of 21 cards; I used the first page last week and used the second, more challenging page, today.

You can also grab some free metric problem solving in my follow-up post to this one, where I share the 2nd day of the metric matching activity:-)

 
metric conversions matching activity

Additional Resources to Practice Metric Conversions

 

Ellie

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Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!

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