Measurement Matters!

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Hospitality and Tourism

    Course : Food Science

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student, for at least 40% of instructional time, conducts laboratory and field investigations using safe, environmentally appropriate and ethical practices. The student is expected to:
      • (A) demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations
      • (B) demonstrate an understanding of the use and conservation of resources and the proper disposal or recycling of materials
    • (2) The student uses scientific methods and equipment during laboratory and field investigations. The student is expected to:
      • (E) plan and implement descriptive, comparative and experimental investigations, including asking questions, formulating testable hypotheses and selecting equipment and technology
      • (F) collect and organize qualitative and quantitative data and make measurements with accuracy and precision, using tools and equipment
      • (G) analyze, evaluate, make inferences and predict trends from data
      • (H) communicate valid conclusions supported by the data through methods such as lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, summaries, oral reports and technology-based reports
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • understand how to make accurate and precise laboratory measurements
    • calculate temperatures for the Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales
    • convert U.S. to metric measures using formulas
    • demonstrate techniques for measuring length, mass, time and volume
  • Rationale


    Food scientists use the metric system in the laboratories and the United States has actually been using metric units for a long time in food products. Today, we will practice how to convert the English system to the metric system and demonstrate how to measure length, mass and volume.
    Let’s learn how these skills may lead to a career!

  • Duration of Lesson

    Three 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Accuracy: How close a single measurement comes to the actual or true value of the quantity of measurement

    Mass: A measure of the quantity of matter

    Measurement: A collection of quantitative data made by comparing a quantity with a standard unit

    Meniscus: The curved upper surface of a liquid in a tube

    Metric System: A decimal system of measurement

    Precision: How close several measurements are to the same value

    Prefixes: Used to indicate what multiple or fraction of the base unit is used in a given situation

    Temperature: A measure of heat intensity

    Volume: The amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container

    Note: Many other terms on the slide presentation can be identified. Encourage students to include the definition in the assignment.

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for multimedia presentation
    • computers with Internet access (be sure to follow district guidelines)
    • light projector (Elmo)


    Measuring equipment:

    • balances (4)
      • electronic
      • triple-beam
    • centimeter ruler (2)
    • measuring tape
    • meter stick
    • milliliter cylinder (2)
    • milliliter ruler
    • kilometer measure

    • biscuit
    • cookie sheet
    • flour (any amount)
    • ground beef (any amount)
    • milk, any amount
    • muffin
    • orange
    • salad plate
    • soda (any amount)
    • sugar (any amount)
    • table
    • tablecloth, rectangle

    • copy of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)

  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Become familiar with the video from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Baylor University – Janelle Walter, PhD.:

    • The Importance of Accurate Measurements In Food Science Experiments
      This video presents basic measurement procedures for dry and liquid ingredients when using volume measurements.

    Display as many items from the Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed tab as you have available on a table in front of the room so that students may view as they enter.

    Divide the class into the lab groups.

    Distribute the graphic organizer Measurement Abbreviations (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to each group and instruct the groups to complete the sheet with the abbreviations for each word.

    Abbreviations in long scientific writing are useful and save space in lengthy recipes/formulations.

    Review the answers and explain to the class that they will be using these abbreviations in their labs.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute the handout Note-Taking: Measurement Matters (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may take notes during the slide presentation.

    Introduce the PowerPoint™ Measurement Matters (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and begin the discussion about how important measuring accurately in the lab is.

    View the YouTube™ video:

    • US Switch to Metric System?
      ‘The Federal Eye’ Ed O’Keefe answers a reader’s question about U.S. efforts to switch to the metric system.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • provide students with a copy of the slide presentation
    • assign student a partner for note-taking assistance

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Display the PDF files Abbreviations, Volume and Weight Equivalents and Measurement Equivalents (see All Lesson Attachments tab) on a light projector.

    Review the files with the abbreviations and equivalents with your students.

    Distribute the handouts Length, Math and Volume Conversion Calculations and Temperature Conversions Calculations (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and explain to the students how important it is to be able to convert the U.S. Measurement System to the Metric System.

    Allow your students to complete the handouts.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • shorter assignment length
    • work with a partner

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Before class begins:

    Read the handout Measuring Matters Lab Instructions (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to set up the measuring stations.

    Print the handout Measurement Stations (see All Lesson Attachments tab) on cardstock and separate. Place each card by each corresponding station so that students will know what item to measure.

    Distribute the handout Measuring Matters Lab Worksheet (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to students assist them in identifying the measuring equipment.

    Instruct the students that they should visit each measuring station to measure the item available and record their results.

    Remind students that measuring accurately and precisely is important in lab experiments.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • pair student with a partner
    • reduce assignment

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms, and definitions.

    Re-visit the graphic organizer Measurement Abbreviations (see All Lesson Attachments tab) from the Anticipatory set.

    Place the graphic organizer Measurement Abbreviations Squared and Cubed (see All Lesson Attachments tab) on a light projector and ask the students if they can abbreviate the measurements that are squared and cubed.

    Work the assignment together as a class.

    Ask students to list reasons it is beneficial to know both the English measurement system, as well as the metric measurement system. Hold a class discussion and ask students to share their thoughts.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Divide the class into subgroups of four.

    Assign groups to Invent the Quiz and assess the class.

    Instruct students to write 10 higher-order questions related to the lesson with a key. To accomplish this, they may use a technology program, such as:

    • Socrative™
      Teachers can engage and assess their students with educational activities on tablets, laptops and smartphones.

    Note to teacher: The calculations handouts may also be used as a post-test to assess the students.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • assistance with question and answer responses
    • highlight main points

  • References/Resources


    • Mehas, K. Y., & Rodgers, S. L. (2002). Food science: The biochemistry of food and nutrition. New York, NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
    • Ward, J. D., & Ward, L. T. (2013). Principles of food science. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Willcox Company.



    • U.S. Switch to Metric System?
      ‘The Federal Eye’ Ed O’Keefe answers a reader’s question about U.S. efforts to switch to the metric system.
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • ask students to repeat your instructions back to you to be sure they know what is expected of them before each phase of the lesson
    • discuss vocabulary in detail and make sure everyone has a firm grasp on it before moving forward with the lesson
    • use graphic organizers and visuals to explain the lesson in detail
    • print fill in the blank handouts of the PowerPoint® notes for students to follow along with the lesson
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Use reliable internet sources to research Anders Celsius. Explore his life and the obstacles he faced when introducing his Celsius temperature system.


    Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

    The infographic below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the image on a projector and lead a discussion concerning the information provided.

    TED Talk:

    TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.

    The video below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the video and lead a discussion concerning the TED Talk.

    • TEDxMelbourne – Pat Naughtin – Saving Millions with the Metric System
      Pat Naughtin presents the history of the metric system and then highlights how the different ways which the way we measure things can cost billions of dollars and even endanger our health. Pat is a world expert on metrication and presents from his incredible experience as a boiler making, through piano building and solar energy, to weaving and wool classing.
  • Family/Community Connection

    Work with a local elementary school to implement metric measurements in their field day celebrations.

    Example: Egg Drop Competition – Partners try to toss an egg back and forth without it breaking. Start standing 1 meter apart, move to 2m, 3m, 4m, and so on, until the egg drops. Once the egg drops, have students measure the exact distance between the target (receiver) and the broken egg. This will tell us how much farther the thrower needed to throw the egg to continue.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    • CulinaryArts
      A team event – recognizes participants enrolled in occupational culinary arts/food service training programs for their ability to work as members of a team to produce a quality meal using industrial culinary arts/food service techniques and equipment.


    • Culinary Arts
      The competition will encompass both hot and cold food preparation and presentation. Contestants will demonstrate their knowledge and skills through the production of a four-course menu in a full day competition. The contestants will be rated on their organization, knife skills, cooking techniques, creative presentation, sanitation food safety techniques, and above all, the quality and flavor of their prepared items. The high school competitors will work from one menu with standardized recipes. The college/postsecondary students will work from a market basket format and write their own menu and recipes the night before the competition.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Service learning is a way for youth to gain knowledge and develop skills while meeting real community needs. After identifying and examining local issues, students agree on a plan, take action, and evaluate results. For more information on service learning projects visit:

    Possible Idea:

    Students may work with elementary students in the after school program teaching them about the metric system and how to convert from the English system.

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