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Oodles of Noodles

Subject: Math/Measurement
Grade: 3-5

Brief Description

This lesson is designed as a hands-on approach to standard and non-standard measurement.


Students understand and explore the concepts of standard and non-standard measurement.


measurement, inches, centimeters

Materials Needed

  • ruler with centimeters and inches
  • tag board (one sheet per student)
  • pencil
  • three types of noodles: curly, elbow, and ziti

Lesson Plan

  • Ask students: What is a ruler used for? What kinds of measurements appear on a ruler? (inches, centimeters) Explain that a ruler is a standard type of measuring tool.
  • Explain that many common items can be used as measuring tools, such as paper clips, spoons, and noodles.
  • Distribute the tag board. Write the following on the board:
    • 2 1/2 inches
    • 6 inches
    • 4 1/4 inches
  • Tell students to use a ruler to draw a line for each length noted on the board. Circulate around the room to check for accuracy.
  • Once the lines are drawn to the appropriate lengths, distribute the noodle shapes. Tell the students to measure the lines using noodles. Discuss why noodles are non-standard measuring tools.
  • Have students glue the noodles to the tag board. Have students write a sentence for each example. For example:
    • This line is 2 1/2 inches long.
    • It is _____ curly noodles long.
    • It is _____ elbow noodles long.
    • It is _____ ziti noodles long.
Variation: Write the lengths using metric units, such as centimeters, millimeters.


To assess informally, circulate around the classroom and measure students' lines. To assess formally, you may wish to give a written quiz, including questions that ask the difference between standard and non-standard units of measurement.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Rachelle Yungmann, Spring Hill Elementary School, Spring Hill, Florida

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