This one-page discovery activity requires students to measure 5 objects, to the nearest inch, 1/2-inch, 1/4-inch, and 1/8 inch. They make an estimation before measuring. The five objects are a paperclip, a pencil, a sheet of loose leaf, a desk top, and a textbook.
After measuring and recording data in a table, students answer 4 thinking questions, designed to have students intuitively discover the meaning and importance of precision. One of the thinking questions asks students to re-measure the paperclip in centimeters and millimeters.
If you use a literacy strategy in math, you can have students utilize it with the thinking questions.
With common core's focus in math on attending to accuracy, this is an excellent way to introduce students to a concept that they will see again and again in their future math studies!