Measuring Skills

The key measuring skills that children need to master are:

  1. Choosing the correct units.
  2. Reading the scale accurately.

Measuring Length

We can measure how long, wide or tall something is; or how far apart two things are.

This fork measures 20cm.

In the metric system the smallest unit of measurement we use is millimetres.

One millimetre is about the thickness of a credit card – or your school canteen card.

Usually we use millimetres to measure small things.  However in the building trade millimetres are often used to measure bigger things like rooms as it means you can be much more precise.

In Ikea, kitchens are measured in millimetres.

In Ikea, kitchens are measured in millimetres. Image from Ikea.com

When you have 10 millimetres you then have a centimetre.

A centimetre is about the width of a letter key on a keyboard.

QWERTY_keyboard

Image credit: wikipedia

Two measuring tapes – the top one is in millimetres and the bottom one in centimetres.

When you have 100 centimetres you have 1 metre.  We use metres to measure bigger things.

The swimming pool at Llantrisant Leisure Centre is 25 metres long.

The swimming pool at Llantrisant Leisure Centre is 25 metres long. Image credit: RCT Council

Measuring Area

A square metre is a square that is 1 metre on each side.

This dog is sitting inside 1 square metre.

We write this as 1 m2.

Measuring Volume

In science and food technology, you need to measure volume regularly.  The smallest unit we use is the millilitre – or ml.

calpol

Medicine spoons are 2.5ml in the small end and 5ml in the larger end. Image credit: huffingtonpost.co.uk

Measuring spoons for cooking also have very precise volumes.

Measuring spoons for cooking also have very precise volumes. Image credit: johnlewis.com

  • 1tsp = 1 teaspoon = 5ml
  • 1tbsp = 1 tablespoon = 15ml

Larger volumes should be measured in a measuring cup or jug.

 

jug

A jug enables you to measure to the nearest 50ml. Image credit: tesco.com

Bigger volumes still are measured in litres.  1 litre = 1000 millilitres.