Looking for a fun measuring activity?
Try The Queen’s Bed!
The story How Big Is a Foot? will be used as a context in which students will construct a bed for the queen using their feet to measure the length and width. Students will measure using non-standard units to establish a need for standard units of measurement.
For each student:
masking or transparent tape
adding machine tape
For the class:
Book—How Big Is a Foot?
1. Share the book How Big Is a Foot? or tell a similar story. Discuss the task proposed of building a bed for the queen. (The king has asked the apprentice to build a bed that is three“feet” wide by six “feet”long.)
2. Ask the students to act as the apprentice from the story. Direct them to use their own feet to measure the needed lengths to make a newspaper bed for the queen that is three “feet”wide by six “feet” long. Within each group, ask one child to pace off six “feet” while another marks this on the newspaper sheets. Do the same for the width of three “feet.” Tell them to either fold or cut the paper to size. Urge the students to place their feet heel-to-toe when making their measurements.
3. Compare the paper beds by laying one bed on top of another. Discuss why the beds are different sizes. Ask the children to explain why they think this happened. Refer back to the story and discuss how the students measured their beds like the apprentice did, using their own feet.
4. Once all the beds have been compared, check if any of them are large enough for the queen. Ask them what they need to use as a unit of measure so that all the beds will fit the queen. (A king’s foot)
5. Ask an adult whose foot size is close to 12 inches to be the king. Instruct a student to measure that person’s foot. Direct each group to cut a strip of adding machine tape the length of this person’s foot.
6. Show the students how to use this unit of measure as a repeated unit to find a sheet of newspaper that is six king’s “feet” long.
7. With the whole class, construct a three “foot” by six “foot”bed using this new unit of measurement. Check the bed for a comfortable fit for the queen.
8. Discuss what happened when they all used a king’s “foot” instead of their own to measure the bed.
9. Repeat this activity asking the students to make a blanket for the queen’s bed. Observe and note which unit the young learners choose to use, the king’s foot or their own.
Wayne RESA TIPM teachers hard at work making their own newspaper bed.
~This activity is copyrighted by the AIMS Education Foundation~
~All rights reserved.~
“The Queen’s Bed” Lesson by Carol S. Gossett