Development of Measurement


Measurement is a necessity to every individual’s day to day life. It is one of the earliest inventions made by man. The primitive man used parts of the body as the instruments of measurement. “Length for example was first measured by the forearm in Egypt while in Greece it was measured using the foot” (University of Cambridge, 2007). This however had many limitations, the major one being the difference in people’s body structure. The measurement was therefore not standard. To solve this problem, “the early French mathematicians came up with standards of measurement for length which are being used to date” (University of Cambridge, 2007). This lesson plan is a presentation of a class lecture on the topic of the contribution of the non-western culture to the development of mathematical measurements.

Lesson plan


WGU Task Objective Number:

General information

Lesson Title & Subject(s): Development of Measurement

Topic or Unit of Study: Contribution of diverse cultures to the development of mathematical measurements.

Grade/Level: Grade 4 (Seniors)

Instructional Setting:

  • Time: 3-5 PM
  • Venue: Mathematics laboratory
  • Population: 20 students
  • Students will be sited facing the podium.
  • The instructor will present the lesson on slides using PowerPoint presentation with a projector.

Standards and objectives

Core Curriculum/Student Achievement Standard(s):

Use the forth standard which covers Geometry and Measurement. These include:

GLE 0006.4.3 – Compare and order measurable attributes of objects directly.

0006.4.7 – Make direct and indirect comparisons between objects (University of Cambridge, 2007).

Also, apply the general mathematical standards such as:

3102.1.1 – Develop meaning for mathematical vocabulary.

3102.1.2 – use the terminology of mathematics correctly.

Lesson Objective(s):

  • Students should be able to explain the history of measurement and development over time.
  • They should be in a position to name the key contributors to the development of measurements from the non-western culture such as Egypt, Greece and Rome.
  • They should be able to relate the measurements of length discussed in class (foot, yard and mile).

Materials and resources         

Instructional Materials:

  • PowerPoint presentations.
  • Textbook for reference.
  • Writing materials for students.


Internet resources from nrich specialist in rich mathematics (

Instructional plan

 Sequence of Instructional Procedures/Activities/Events (provide description and indicate approximate time for each):

  1. Identification of Student Prerequisite Skills Needed for Lesson:

Review of the previous lesson – 3:00 – 3:15

Revision of previously used terms – 3:15 – 3:30

Identification of specific students needs – 3:30 – 3:40

  1. Presentation of New Information or Modeling:

Definition of terms related to measurement – 3:40 – 4:00

  • Length
  • Yard
  • Mile
  • Foot

Discuss the cultural background that led to the development of each term – 4:00 – 4:30.

Guided Practice:

  • First, explain the measurement history to the students using the available resources
  • Use the scaffolding technique where the students are left to solve problems on their own in groups.
  • Ask them some questions concerning what they have been discussing and what they learnt during the lecture.
  • Give out a 10 minutes quiz.
  • Leave behind a research assignment.
  • Point out individuals to answer some oral questions.
  1. Independent Student Practice:
  1. Culminating or Closing Procedure/Activity/Event:

Review the meanings and origin of foot, mile and yard.

Describe the tasks to be discussed in the next lesson, and give out research work to be done.

Pedagogical Strategy (or Strategies):

  • Lecture: the instructor should summarize the whole topic. Explain the origin of length measurements such as the foot, yard and the mile. The foot and yard originated from Greece while mile originated from Rome.
  • Cooperative learning: divide them into groups of five and let them discuss how these measurements were arrived at, and the history behind their naming.
  • Use of technology: the instructor should finally present slides, which give the solutions to these problems. It should contain animated pictures of how these measurements were conducted back then.

Differentiated Instruction:

  • Use pictorial presentation on charts to explain the same concept to students who do not understand English. This should also be of help to students whose hearing impaired is impaired.
  • The fast learners should be combined with the slow learners in the groups, so that the slow learners may not feel isolated.

Student Assessment/Rubrics:

  • Ask students to write a summary of the lesson without referring to their notes.
  • Prepare an assessment sheet for each, which should contain the topics discussed and an analysis of their summaries.
  • Ask oral questions to analyze the general class position.



















University of Cambridge, (2007). nrich specialist in rich mathematics. Retrieved from



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