Illustrative Mathematics Unit 6.3, Lesson 3: Measuring with Different-Sized Units

Learning Targets:

  • When I know a measurement in one unit, I can decide whether it takes more or less of a different unit to measure the same quantity.

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Illustrative Math
Grade 6

Lesson 3: Measuring with Different-Sized Units

Let’s measure things.

Illustrative Math Unit 6.3, Lesson 3 (printable worksheets)

Lesson 3 Summary

The following diagram shows how to measure with different-sized units.
Measure with Different-Sized Units

Lesson 3.1 Width of a Paper

Your teacher will show you two rods. Does it take more green rods or blue rods lined up end to end to measure the width of a piece of printer paper?

Lesson 3.2 Cutting String

Your teacher will assign you one of the following lengths: 1 centimeter, 1 foot, 1 inch, 1 meter, or 1 yard.

Estimate and cut a piece of string as close to your assigned length as you can without using a measurement tool.

Lesson 3.3 - Measurement Stations

Station 1

  • The larger cubes are 1 cubic inch each. Count how many cubic inches it takes to completely pack the box full without gaps.
  • Empty the box.
  • The small cube is 1 cubic centimeter. Each rod is composed of 10 cubic centimeters. Count how many cubic centimeters it takes to completely pack the box full without gaps.
  • Empty the box.
cubic inches cubic centimeters
volume of the box

Station 2

  • Use the meter stick to measure to the nearest meter the length your teacher has indicated.
  • Use rulers to measure to the nearest foot the length your teacher has indicated.
meters feet
length of ______________________

Station 3
Watch the video. How many times can a quart bottle be filled from a gallon jug? How many times can a liter bottle be filled from a gallon jug?

Show Video

quarts liters
1 gallon of water

Station 4
Use the applet to record the weights of different objects in different units.

Show Applet

Station 5

  • Count how many level teaspoons of salt it takes to fill the graduated cylinder to 20 milliliters, 40 milliliters, and 50 milliliters.
  • Pour the salt back into the original container.
milliliters teaspoons
volume of salt20
volume of salt40
volume of salt50

After you finish all five stations, answer the following questions with your group.

  1. Which is larger, a cubic inch or a cubic centimeter? Did more cubic inches or cubic centimeters fit in the cardboard box? Why?
  2. Did it take more feet or meters to measure the indicated length? Why?
  3. Which is bigger, a quart or a liter? Explain your reasoning.
  4. Use the data from Station 4 to put the units of weight and mass in order from smallest to largest. Explain your reasoning.
  5. a. If you continued filling the graduated cylinder with salt to 100 milliliters, about how many teaspoons would it take? Show your thinking.
    b. If you poured 15 teaspoons of salt into an empty graduated cylinder, about how many milliliters would it fill? Show your thinking.
    c. How many milliliters per teaspoon are there?
    d. How many teaspoons per milliliter are there?

Are you ready for more?

People in the medical field use metric measurements when working with medicine. For example, a doctor might prescribe medication in 10 mg tablets.
Brainstorm a list of reasons why healthcare workers would do this. Organize your thinking so it can be followed by others.

Lesson 3 Practice Problems

  1. Decide if each is a measurement of length, area, volume, or weight (or mass).
    a. How many centimeters across a handprint
    b. How many square inches of paper needed to wrap a box
    c. How many gallons of water in a fish tank
    d. How many pounds in a bag of potatoes
    e. How many feet across a swimming pool
    f. How many ounces in a bag of grapes
    g. How many liters in a punch bowl
    h. How many square feet of grass in a lawn
  2. Clare says, “This classroom is 11 meters long. A meter is longer than a yard, so if I measure the length of this classroom in yards, I will get less than 11 yards.” Do you agree with Clare? Explain your reasoning.
  3. Tyler’s height is 57 inches. What could be his height in centimeters? Explain your reasoning.
    A. 22.4
    B. 57
    C. 144.8
    D. 3,551
  4. A large soup pot holds 20 quarts. What could be its volume in liters?
    A. 7.57
    B. 19
    C. 21
    D. 75.7
  5. Clare wants to mail a package that weighs pounds. What could this weight be in kilograms?
    A. 2.04
    B. 4.5
    C. 9.92
    D. 4,500
  6. Noah bought 15 baseball cards for $9.00. Assuming each baseball card costs the same amount, answer the following questions.
    a. At this rate, how much will 30 baseball cards cost? Explain your reasoning.
    b. At this rate, how much will 12 baseball cards cost? Explain your reasoning.
    c. Do you think this information would be better represented using a table or a double number line? Explain your reasoning.
  7. Jada traveled 135 miles in 3 hours. Andre traveled 228 miles in 6 hours. Both Jada and Andre traveled at a constant speed.
    a. How far did Jada travel in 1 hour?
    b. How far did Andre travel in 1 hour?
    c. Who traveled faster? Explain or show your reasoning.

The Open Up Resources math curriculum is free to download from the Open Up Resources website and is also available from Illustrative Mathematics.

Try the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice various math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.
Mathway Calculator Widget

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