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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Lesson 3

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the metric measurement system of base units and prefixes.
  • Order units, convert units to appropriate size.

Language Outcome

  • Say and write units for length.
  • Create units in the metric system using the correct base units and prefixes.
  • Write definitions for maths terms.
Lesson 3
Teaching and learning activities  
Write the Lesson and Language Outcomes on the board. Principles 2, 3


  • What units have you heard of? Does everyone in the world use the same system? Why do we need standard units? Refer to previous brainstorm.
  • prefix and base units

    3 main base units

    length metres m
    weight grams g
    capacity litres L


    kilo- k 1000 1km = 1000m
    hecto- h 100 1 ha = 100 ares
    deca- da 10 dag = 10 gram
    deci- d 1/10 dl = 1/10 Litre
    centi- c 1/100 1cm =1/100m
    milli- m 1/1000 1mL=1/1000L

    other Prefixes (RTF 46KB)

Principle 1

Measurement Clines

  • Give pairs of students the Measurement Clines (RTF 405KB) and cut up units.
  • Students arrange the units in order on the correct clines. Once everyone has completed each pair checks their answers with another pair.
Principle 5

Converting Units

  • Display the following problem: "Mele is keeping track of the amount of ribbon sold at the local shop. The new roll has 8 metres of ribbon. Penny bought 1.2 metres, James needed 12 lots of 25cm. Nick bought 10 bits which were 75 millimetres each. How much is left on the roll?"
  • Discuss the problem and the range of units used. Work through the conversions on the whiteboard. Check that the ESOL students understand the colloquial phrase "keeping track of" and the specialised meaning of "lots of".
  • Set other problems where unit conversions are required.
Principle 4

Vocab List

  • Students scan their vocab list and look for words that they have seen in today's lesson. Can they improve their definition? Give students 3-4 minutes to discuss with partner. Students complete the After column with their new definition.
Principles 5, 7

Published on: 19 Feb 2018