Several activities to hit the common core measurement standards in 2nd grade---estimating and measuring with tools. These activities will last 1-2 weeks and many were created from Van deWalle Activities.
*Body benchmarks for cm, in, ft, m and scavenger hunt for items that are about the same size as your body benchmark. Use their findings to create a class anchor chart to help you estimate measurement with body benchmarks.
*Scavenger hunt with a ruler for things exactly 1 cm, more than 1 cm, less than 1 cm. Repeat for inch, foot, and meter. Also directions to go measure things in the room with a ruler.
*Crooked Paths (A Van deWalle Activity) 1st estimate just by looking which path you think is the longest to shortest. 2nd use body benchmarks to ESTIMATE a crooked path. Then measure with a ruler. Then compare the two and find the difference between the estimated and actual measurement. This is at least a 2 day activity.
I usually draw the crooked paths myself and differentiate for abilities of students and give the advanced kids more complicated crooked paths. What is in the pack is for more basic or core kids.
*How long is the teacher? (A Van deWalle Activity) Get a long piece of butcher paper and lay down to mark your head and feet. (I do this with the students) Cut strips of how long you are so several groups can work on this activity with a copy of how long you are. Their job is to first estimate how many cm, in, ft, m you are by visualizing or using body benchmarks. Then when they are done they get measuring tools to find the actual length. Discuss which unit was most effective to measure the teacher.
*Actual Size book by Steve Jenkins Activity -- Read book to students and stop throughout so the students can estimate how long different animals are in the book. It is very helpful to have a volunteer put one body benchmark on the page (or use a ruler maybe) to help them visualize a good estimate. They record their estimates on this paper.
*Actual Size Word Problems -- Problems comparing lengths with different ability levels (a small letter in corner by the name.... a=advanced c=core b=basic) There are several different comparing problem types: difference unknown, larger size unknown, smaller size unknown
*Measuring Food --- Kids get a bag of these items: twizzler, spaghetti noodle, pretzel stick, graham cracker, cheeze-it, and a marshmallow. (Do not combine in a bag the day before! They got gross/stale)
They measure the food in inches and centimeters. A follow up activity is word problems comparing 2 different items.
*Estimation Jars -- Show a jar of candy/food. Have kids estimate how many. Then count out 10 and have them estimate again. Repeat.
* Measure around the room --- They find different classroom items in the room and measure them in inches and centimeters.