Today when they came into the room, the kids were faced with this challenge:
"Overnight, there was an international disaster - all millimetres, centimetres and metres had disappeared. No-one could remember how long the units were. We had to make some new units of measurement. What would we do?"
After a few suggestions, like, "Let's use feet and inches." I encouraged the students to use their creativity to make a new system.
We were using our interlocking cubes to make patterns so it was natural that these blocks became out units.
I wasn't happy to have this unit be called a "block" so the kids decided to call it a "knok".
Next step was to decide on the other units. Here is what they came up with:
It looked like this:
2 peas = 1 knok
8 knoks = 1 mok
6 moks = 1 snock
And once we had a measurement system, we needed to measure something.
"What shall we measure?" I asked.
"YOU!" was the emphatic reply.
So I became the first of many to be measured with our new measurement system.
Turns out I am 2 snocks, a mok, 3 knoks and 2 peas tall. (Astute students of place value will notice that the 2 peas should be converted to another knok to make 4 knoks.)
I don't think it will ever become an internationally recognised system of measurement, but it gave us an opportunity to explore the idea of standard units and how to convert between units of different sizes.