Unit 7: Measurement
Students explore measurement using kilograms, grams, liters, milliliters, and intervals of time in minutes.
In Unit 7, 3rd grade students solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects. The unit, while major work itself, also “support[s] the Grade 3 emphasis on multiplication and the mathematical practices of making sense of problems (MP.1) and representing them with equations, drawings, or diagrams (MP.4)” (GM Progression, p. 18).
Students begin by building on their understanding of telling time to the nearest five minutes from 2nd grade (2.MD.7) to tell and write time to the nearest minute using analog and digital clocks (3.MD.1). Students relate the face of an analog clock and time measurement more generally to the number line. Just as students used a number line to represent sums and differences in 2nd grade (2.MD.6), students use the number line to represent addition and subtraction problems involving elapsed time in minutes and durations of time (3.MD.1).
Building on the estimation skills with length gained in 2nd grade (2.MD.3), students in 3rd grade use the metric units of kilograms, grams, liters, and milliliters to estimate the masses and liquid volumes of familiar objects (3.MD.2). Students also measure objects in those units, reading the measurement scales on analog tools such as beakers. Finally, just as students solved word problems involving lengths in 2nd grade (2.MD.5), students solve word problems involving masses or volumes given in the same metric units (3.MD.2).
Students will rely on the work of this unit to convert from a larger unit to a smaller unit in 4th grade (4.MD.1) and from a smaller unit to a larger one in 5th grade (5.MD.1), as well as to solve multi-step word problems involving intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals (4.MD.2, 5.MD.1). Beyond the direct connections to Grades 4 and 5 Common Core State Standards, “measurement is central to mathematics, to other areas of mathematics (e.g., laying a sensory and conceptual foundation for arithmetic with fractions), to other subject matter domains, especially science, and to activities in everyday life. For these reasons, measurement is a core component of the mathematics curriculum” (GM Progression, p. 1).
Pacing: 15 instructional days (12 lessons, 2 flex days, 1 assessment day)
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The following assessments accompany Unit 7.
Have students complete the Pre-Unit Assessment and Pre-Unit Student Self-Assessment before starting the unit. Use the Pre-Unit Assessment Analysis Guide to identify gaps in foundational understanding and map out a plan for learning acceleration throughout the unit.
Pre-Unit Student Self-Assessment
Have students complete the Mid-Unit Assessment after lesson 6.
Use the resources below to assess student understanding of the unit content and action plan for future units.
Post-Unit Assessment Answer Key
Post-Unit Student Self-Assessment
Use student data to drive your planning with an expanded suite of unit assessments to help gauge students’ facility with foundational skills and concepts, as well as their progress with unit content.
Suggestions for how to prepare to teach this unit
Prepare to teach this unit by immersing yourself in the standards, big ideas, and connections to prior and future content. Unit Launches include a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning.
The central mathematical concepts that students will come to understand in this unit
Terms and notation that students learn or use in the unit
To see all the vocabulary for Unit 7, view our 3rd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.
The materials, representations, and tools teachers and students will need for this unit
Word Problems and Fluency Activities
Access daily word problem practice and our content-aligned fluency activities created to help students strengthen their application and fluency skills.
Topic A: Time Measurement
Tell time to the nearest minute.
Tell time to the minute before the hour.
Relate clocks to number lines.
Solve word problems involving elapsed time within the same hour.
Solve word problems involving elapsed time that involves crossing the hour mark.
Solve word problems involving all cases of elapsed time in minutes.
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Topic B: Mass and Liquid Volume Measurement
Understand mass as an attribute of objects that is measured in grams and kilograms. Develop benchmarks for 1 kilogram and 1 gram.
Estimate and measure mass in grams and kilograms by reading a measurement scale on an analog scale or other scale.
Solve word problems involving masses given in the same unit.
Understand liquid volume as an attribute of objects that is measured in liters and milliliters. Develop benchmarks for 1 liter and 1 milliliter.
Estimate and measure liquid volume in liters and milliliters by reading the measurement scale on a beaker or other container.
Solve word problems involving volumes given in the same unit.
The content standards covered in this unit
— Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure time intervals in minutes. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals in minutes, e.g., by representing the problem on a number line diagram.
— Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l). Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.
Excludes multiplicative comparison problems (problems involving notions of "times as much";
Excludes compound units such as cm³ and finding the geometric volume of a container.
Standards covered in previous units or grades that are important background for the current unit
— Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
— Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
— Represent whole numbers as lengths from 0 on a number line diagram with equally spaced points corresponding to the numbers 0, 1, 2, …, and represent whole-number sums and differences within 100 on a number line diagram.
— Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.
Standards in future grades or units that connect to the content in this unit
— Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Record measurement equivalents in a two column table.
For example, know that 1 ft is 12 times as long as 1 in. Express the length of a 4 ft snake as 48 in. Generate a conversion table for feet and inches listing the number pairs (1, 12), (2, 24), (3, 36), …
— Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale.
— Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
— Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
— Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
— Model with mathematics.
— Use appropriate tools strategically.
— Attend to precision.
— Look for and make use of structure.
— Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
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