I love to use literature books in my Math classroom as often as I can! How Tall How Short How Faraway by David Adler is a great book to use when introducing the measurement systems. In the book, he discuss how ancient mathematicians used body parts to measure things. Realizing that not everyone has the same size body parts led to a universal measurement system.
I created a fun activity where students use their body parts to measure themselves and look at proportional relationships in the human body.
Look for my great companion activity entitled Jim and the Beanstalk in which students are given a handprint and must discover how tall "the giant" is using proportional relationships of the human body.
A great extension for this lesson would be to view the Cyberchase episode entitled Ecohaven CSE from Season 3 Episode 1. The Cyberchase gang uses a footprint to catch a thief.
This activity is also available in a bundle pack at a discounted price. A great cross-curricular activity!