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Martha's True Stories: How Do You Measure Up?


Students read the interactive, informational text “How Do You Measure Up?” which describes different jobs that require measuring: the carpenter measures height and length with a measuring tape, the baker measures ingredients, the doctor measures temperature, and so on. Using the special features of the “Martha’s True Stories” texts, students learn words about measurement. They match items with the appropriate measuring tool and think about jobs they might like to do that require measuring.



  • Key Ideas and Details:
    With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
    With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • Craft and Structure:
    With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
    With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
    Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
    Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
    With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
    Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at home that are cozy).
    Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).

Objectivos de la lección

  • To understand that different tasks and jobs require measuring and measuring instruments.
  • To match the task with the correct measuring instrument.

Literatura sugerida

  • Biggest, Strongest, Fastest
    por Steve Jenkins
  • How Short, How Tall, How Far Away?
    por David Adler
  • Inch by Inch
    por Leo Lionni
  • Me and the Measure of Things
    por Joan Sweeney
  • Measuring Penny
    por Loreen Leedy


  • Drawing materials (pencils, crayons, markers)
  • Measuring instruments (measuring tape, scale, measuring cup, toy thermometer, toy oven)
  • Items to measure (different-sized books or pieces of cardboard, flour or other cooking ingredients)
  • Two surfaces (one for the measuring instruments and one for the items)
  • PDF of Teacher's Guide
  • PDF of ELL Tips

Descripción de la lección

  1. Encourage children to share their prior knowledge about measuring. Ask:
    • What do we measure (how big or tall things are: height, length, width; how heavy or light things are: weight; how hot or cold things are: temperature; how fast or slow things are: speed)?
    • Why and when do we measure?
    • What kinds of tools do we use to measure things?
  2. “Walk” through the interactive text with students. For students who are less familiar with computers, explain how to use features such as the forward and back arrows, how to click on highlighted words to get definitions, how to turn the narration on and off, and how to click on the pictures that “pulse” after the narration is finished.
  3. Working in pairs, have students read “How Do You Measure Up?” Depending on their reading level, they can listen to the story with sound or take turns reading it aloud to each other. They can have fun clicking on the animated features.
  4. Be sure that students click on the highlighted words to hear or read the definitions. (See Vocabulary Words, below.)
  5. Check for understanding of the highlighted words. Make sure that students know what a butcher, carpenter, and track coach do. You may also want to explain the double meaning of the title. Post the vocabulary words on a Word Wall. Encourage students to use as many of the words as possible as they talk about the story and do the activity.
  6. Talk about the text. Ask, What was the story about? What have you measured, at home or at school? Have you seen your parents measure items at home? What did they measure?
  7. Invite a volunteer to come up and choose an item from the table. Ask the class: Which instrument do we use to measure this? Why would we want to measure it? Continue until all of the items have been matched with a measuring tool.
  8. Have students brainstorm a list of additional jobs that require measuring. Ask, What job would you like to do? Have students draw a picture showing themselves doing that job.

Vocabulary List

  • amount: An amount of something is how much of it there is.
  • apply:To apply means to put to use.
  • check: When you check something, it means you make sure it’s right.
  • determine: Determine means to find out.
  • distance: Distance means how far apart two things are.
  • ingredients: An ingredient is one of the things that goes into a mixture.
  • length: Length means how long something is.
  • measure: When you measure, you find the size or amount of something.
  • scale: A scale is a tool for weighing.
  • size: Size means how big or small something is.
  • speed: Speed means how fast or slow something is moving.
  • temperature: Temperature tells you how hot or cold something, or someone, is.
  • weight: Weight means how heavy or light something is.

Consejo de la profesora

Ask students to choose additional items in the classroom to measure. Help measure and label the items.

Extension Ideas

Have students watch the related MARTHA SPEAKS video, “Martha in the Doghouse,” and the related interactive texts, “Planning an Elephant’s Birthday Party” and “Sunflower Bone Biscuits.” Ask students to measure an item at home (with an adult) and bring in the results to discuss at school.

© 2015 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved. “Martha” and all characters and underlying materials (including artwork) from the “Martha” books are trademarks of and copyrights of Susan Meddaugh and used under license. All other characters and underlying materials are trademarks of and copyrights of WGBH. All third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Used with permission.

Corporate funding for MARTHA SPEAKS is provided by Chuck E. Cheese’s®. Additional series funding is provided by the WGBH Children’s Educational Media Fund including The Germeshausen Foundation and by public television viewers.