I came up with this activity to teach the metric system to my gifted students. The problem centers around Taylor Swift going on tour and requiring some information from my students. You could definitely change the artist to someone more popular with your group of kids.
I posed the problem to them by having them read the situation titled "A Diva's Crisis." Then, they were assigned to groups and brainstormed a list of questions to put in the "W" section of a KWL chart (a teacher answer key is provided in this document). Then, I combined everyone's ideas on the screen and the students went to work.
The students LOVED this assignment. I gave them 3 full class periods to work on it, and most finished. They were so engaged and ended up learning most of the measurement standards we have in the process. Whenever kids asked, I would give a mini-lesson about certain things (how to use the triple beam balance, converting within the metric system, checking answers they had already calculated, etc.)
I had students present their "findings" on a sheet of notebook paper, but you could make it as formal as you'd like and have them present this in the form of a PP or Prezi.
In the classroom, I had:
1) triple beam balances
2) a large soda/pop bottle filled with your desired amount of water (read section about the gas tank)
3) kleenex boxes (pick one size only)
4) hand sanitizer bottles (one size only)
5) cleaning wipe containers (one size only)
6) water bottles (one size only- I bought a 6-pack at the grocery)
8) iPads (if n/a, maps, atlases, and conversion charts)
Tasks they will need to complete:
-Using the triple beam balance to find the mass of various objects
-Using beakers and graduated cylinders to determine the volume of the water in the soda/pop bottle
-Convert weather degrees from Fahrenheit to Celsius and understand what the Celsius scale means
-Use math skills to solve each problem
*Created by Ms. Paradise- August 2013