I found this activity that can be used in a first grade classroom for a science lesson on measurement. I think this will be a good introduction activity before introducing actual rulers and measuring tapes by measuring things in comparison to something the students are familiar with, such as paper clips.
Non_standard_measuring_wksh.pdf (0.13 Mb)
You could also have them work in pairs to measure different objects outside in nature with links and blocks. They could also measure one another to see how tall they are with the links. The teacher should provide them with a recording sheet so they can keep track of their information.
Great ideas for engaging young scientists!
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