Try this fun STEM Activity for Mixed Grade Groups in your Before & Afterschool Program
In out-of-school time and after-school programs, you're often teaching mixed grade groups - which can be a challenge! This measurement and movement lesson includes STEM concepts and is fun for students in grades K-8! For more equipment-free afterschool activities, check out our PowerUp Your School lesson plans!
Measurement and data concepts can seem abstract - especially for younger students. These measurement and movement activities apply academic concepts to fun and fitness. As an added bonus, turn this into several stem lessons, that incorporate goal setting, charting, and reporting!
Participants will relate long jumps and bunny hops to units of measure and perform these activities to measure the distance between point A and point B.
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Here's How Play:
Teach students the proper form for a long jump. Start in a standing position with feet together, arms at sides. Bend at the knees as arms swing backward, then jump as far forward as possible, while swinging arms forward. Land with feet together. Start the next jump from where the previous jump landed.
Estimate! Ask students to estimate the number of long jumps they think it will take to get from point A to point B.
Measure! Participants perform long jumps from A to B, counting each jump to “measure” the distance.
Evaluate! Ask students if they overestimated or underestimated the number of jumps it would take.
Find this difference. Subtract. Estimated number of jumps minus actual number of jumps. A positive number means you overestimated, a negative number means you underestimated.
Chart! Designate a space to serve as an imaginary number line from -5 to +5. Tell students to stand on the number line in the spot that represents the Error of their Estimation.
Set a goal! Round two. Again, have participants estimate the number of long jumps it will take to get from point A to B. (Chances are they’ll use the accurate measurement from round 1 as their estimate from round 2). Repeat long jumps and see if they were able to replicate the measurement.
Switch It Up
Change your unit of measure! Repeat the activity, this time using bunny hops to measure the distance between point A and point B. Don’t forget to Estimate, Measure, Evaluate, and Chart the results.
Point out that our distance between point A and point B didn’t change, but our unit of measure did! Make comparisons between bunny hops vs long jumps and inches vs. feet or centimeters vs. meters.
Teacher's Tip: In this activity students are encouraged to embrace the scientific method and challenge their own data collection! Talk about why student to student estimations and measurement can’t be easily compared. Each participant’s long jump or bunny hop is their own unique unit of measurement.
Scaling for All Ages
You can easily scale the content up and down for these activities based on grade level. For older students, calculate percent error and percent difference of their estimated and actual measurements. For younger students, use estimation to practice subtraction and teach positive and negative numbers.
Download this printable pdf version of Measurement & Movement!
Did you enjoy these activities? Take a look at our activity bundles or even request sample lesson plans to learn more!
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