Monday, June 22, 2015

Customary Measurement Conversions for Capacity

Measurement standards. Quarts. Pints. Cups. Students are being asked to solve problems using measurement and conversion of measurements. For some students, remembering the conversions for measurement can be a challenge.

Here is a strategy to help students remember conversions for capacity using customary units of measure. Teach students conversions through storytelling.

In the Land of Gallon, there were four giant Queens.
Each Queen had a Prince and a Princess.
Each Prince and Princess had two children.
The two children were twins, and they were eight years old.

Once students are familiar with the story be sure they see the connection between the story pieces and the units of customary measurement for capacity. If necessary, label the story pieces with their corresponding units of measure. Queen = quart, Prince/Princess = pint, Children = cups, 8 Years Old = 8 fluid ounces. Based on student readiness, you can reduce the number of customary units included in the story. 

Be sure to explicitly show students how this story can help them to remember the following conversions:
4 quarts = 1 gallon
2 pints = 1 quart
2 cups = 1 pint
8 fluid ounces = 1 cup
8 pints = 1 gallon
16 cups = 1 gallon
128 fluid ounces = 1 gallon

Check out the story of "The Land of Gallon" by clicking the image below to download the story and the story pieces that can be used while telling the story.

You may have seen versions of this story on Pinterest. Have students change it up if they want to make it their own. Instead of the children being twins who were 8 years old, maybe they each had 8 toys or 8 frogs. Allow students to own the story.

Storytelling is one way to engage the brain during math class. "After a period of intense learning, storytelling enables the brain to relax and facilitates the retention of newly acquired material (Jensen 2000)."

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