The goal of this lesson is to teach students how to use a ruler by teaching them the concept of the parts of an inch. Understanding an inch can be tough for kids. The different sizes that can make up an inch is even harder because they're expressed as fractions. This model is much bigger than an inch so it's also important to review the concept of scale. It's important that student know this is a representation and not an actual inch.
This model can be easily manipulated. It, not only, teaches the parts of an inch but the relationship between the smaller parts. For example, two 1/4 inch pieces are the same size as one 1/2 inch piece.
Part two of this lesson would be having student design their own ruler.
Here it is:
These parts take a few hours to print but work well once they're done.
If students build a ruler using a 3D printer and can then manipulate the parts they'll have a better conceptual understanding of measurement.
Overview and Background
Students will use 3D printed measurement manipulatives to develop a conceptual understanding of the parts of an inch. They will understand the relationship between different size representations and how they relate to each other.
Students will be able to conceptualize the parts of an inch.
Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units— whole numbers, halves, or quarters.
This lesson involves students using 3D printed manipulatives more than them designing anything. they'll get to design something in part 2 of this lesson. Part one of this lesson should take one class period.
Ok now have students use the manipulatives. Ask them what they notice about the different pieces and how they relate to each other. Hopefully they are able to see how many of each pice fit together to make an inch. I would them ask them how many pieces fit into each other. You can make up your own handout for this since you know your students better than anyone.
Next steps would be to have them make a ruler of their own design. The idea is that they understand that an has 2 halves, 4 quarters and eight eights. they can represent that anyway they want.
Before and after of lesson. I would have the students take a short quiz on the parts of a ruler to get an idea of what they know.
This site goes to 1/16 of an inch so this site maybe best suited for higher grades.
Softschools.com has a good game as well.
This is a great picture to illustrate the point.
Its a bit small but you can enlarge it.
I use this hand out because it's a great way to introduce the concept. The song can be fun too.
This website is a great resource for math quizzes in general but if you select the number line in the Fractions->Identify section it's pretty much a ruler. From here I would take my pre vs. post tests to compare what my students learned.