- Author:
- Sandy Benton, Melissa Wimmler
- Subject:
- Environmental Literacy and Sustainability, Mathematics
- Material Type:
- Activity/Lab, Unit of Study
- Level:
- Lower Primary, Upper Primary
- Tags:

- License:
- Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
- Language:
- English

# Education Standards

# Dream Garden Measurements

## Overview

**Unit Title: **Dream Garden Measurements

**Author: **Melissa Wimmler

**School: **Discovery Charter School, Columbus School District

**Grade Level: **2nd Grade

**Content Area(s): **Math, Environmental Science

**Context: **

Our governance council is working on a school wide project to improve the lawn space in front of our school and create our dream garden. During this six-lesson unit the second-grade students estimated and accurately measured objects in the space and perimeter. The students calculated the area of the space and used square units to plan spaces and garden beds.

# Dream Garden Measurements

**Unit Title: **Dream Garden Measurements

**Author: **Melissa Wimmler

**School: **Discovery Charter School, Columbus School District

**Grade Level: **2nd Grade

**Content Area(s): **Math, Environmental Science

**Standards of Mathematical Practice Addressed:**

**5. Use appropriate tools strategically. **

**6. Attend to precision.**

**Content Standard of Mathematics Addressed:**

**M.2.MD.A.1 **Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.

**M.2.MD.A.2 **Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.

**M.2.MD.A.3 **Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.

**M.2.MD.B.5 **Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve word problems involving lengths that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as number lines) and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

**Wisconsin Standards for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Addressed:**

**ELS.C1: **Students develop and connect with their sense of place and well-being through observation, exploration, and questioning.

**Context (Briefly describe the unit of study): **

Our governance council is working on a school wide project to improve the lawn space in front of our school and create our dream garden. During this six-lesson unit the second-grade students estimated and accurately measured objects in the space and perimeter. The students calculated the area of the space and used square units to plan spaces and garden beds.

**Description of outdoor mathematics experiences that were implemented with students. **

**Experience 1: **The second-grade students have been learning about measuring using English Standard and Metric units. For this activity each student was given a Measuring at School worksheet, clipboard, and pencil. We headed outside to the front lawn space in front of our school. The students circled up in an arch and I reviewed the different units of measurement and the different measurement tools. For this activity they could choose from a ruler, tape measure, and yardstick. Both the ruler and tape measure had both inches and centimeters. The tools were placed in a central location. Before getting started one student modeled how to select a tool, unit, and accurately measure an item. Each student needed to find three things to measure in the outdoor space. For each item they needed to decide what unit they were measuring in, estimate the length, select a measuring tool and accurately measure the length. Then they needed to repeat the steps for the same item using another tool or unit. After completing two estimations and measurements for one object they found another object. During this activity the students measured rocks, plants, paths, and other items. The students shared their estimations and measurements with a partner.

**Experience 2: **The DCS Council President visited our classroom. She told the students about the Dream Garden plan and asked them to measure the perimeter and area of the front lawn space. The students decided they should use yardsticks to measure the perimeter in feet. Each partnership of students had two yardsticks, some chalk to mark things on the sidewalk, and their science notebooks to record their measurements. While measuring the students noticed that the space was not a rectangle like they had seen on the plans but was actually an octagon. They measured the sides and added the lengths together to calculate the perimeter.

**Experience 3: **Back in the classroom the second-grade students shared their measurements, calculations, and permeter results. Students noticed that the different groups had similar perimeter measurements and calculations but no one had the exact same numbers. They wanted to know which was the correct measurement. So we headed outside as a class to remeasure the perimeter together using a really long tape measure. For this measurement we record the distance in feet and inches. We discussed the importance of being accurate and remeasuring this and other projects.

**Experience 4: **Next the second-grade students needed to measure the area of the space. During a classroom discussion on what tool and unit to use one student suggested that we could use the length of each side from our perimeter work to make an array and calculate the area. The students used square feet and small space to show how it would work. The students decided it would be too hard to create a model with square feel or even one inch tiles so they decided to use base-ten blocks. The students started working in partnerships but then the partnerships combined to form larger groups. This helped with collaboration and ensured that each group had enough base-ten blocks. Each group shared their model and area with the other groups and they had all found the same area.

**Experience 5: **Each second-grader was given a one square foot cardboard piece. We attached a pipe cleaner to the middle so the students could slip their shoe inside and walk around to measure the square feet. Some students decided to use the pipe cleaner as a handle to carry the square foot and measure. The students were divided into groups based on the specific item or space they wanted to measure using the square feet. For example, some students measured the area of the garden beds and others the area of the greenhouse. The students recorded their measurements in their science notebooks. It was very helpful to give each group of students a bunch of yard stake flags so they could mark the space they were measuring.

**Experience 6: **The second-grade students focused on the area of the raised garden beds. They measured the area of existing garden beds and determined if the size and shape of the beds should stay the same or change. The students used grid paper to draw their raised garden beds and walk space. They used information about plant space requirements to decide what plants and how many to plant in each of their raised beds. The students uploaded a photograph of their maps along with all the other data they collected during this unit into Seesaw (our school's online digital portfolio system). In Seesaw they added other notes and information about the perimeter and area of the space. The posts and measurements were shared with the governance council.

**Overall Response of Students: **Overall, students were excited about being part of the Dream Garden planning process and engaged in the measuring experiences. I saw students persevering through challenges and cooperating to solve problems. The students knew that they needed to be accurate so their measurement skill improved.

Throughout my participation in this WISELearn project I learned how other educators are engaging students in math in nature. I also saw examples of how base-ten blocks could be used to solve more complex problems such as multiplication and area.

The large size of our outdoor space created extra challenges for the students. If I was going to do this project with another group of students I would select a smaller space or divide the large space into smaller sections.

**Student Resource:** **Measuring at School Worksheet**