Measurement Conversions Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Measurement Conversion
  • 0:57 Basic Conversion Rule
  • 1:26 Converting Measurement Units
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Carla Palomino
In this lesson, learn how to convert measurement units so no one can trick you when you go buy your favorite soda. Discover the basic rule for conversion and how to convert weight, length and volume units.

Measurement Conversion

As humans, and especially as scientifically-minded humans, we tend to measure a lot of things out there in the world. Measurement is, quite simply, the action of measuring something. We can measure time, weight, height, temperature, length, speed, etc. We use measurement because life is so much easier when we know how tall we are, what time of day it is, how cold it's going to be, or how heavy our backpacks are.

Measurements can also be converted. Imagine you go to the store and ask for 15 feet of fabric to make your school football team flag. After cutting the fabric, the sales person tells you, 'Here you have 5 yards. It costs $20.' You don't say anything but on your way out, you're thinking you told him 15 feet, why did he give you 5 yards? This is why: measures can be converted, 15 feet and 5 yards are exactly the same.

Basic Conversion Rule

Conversion may seem complicated but here's a trick that will help you convert any unit without any problem. The basic rule is:

If you need to convert from a larger unit to a smaller unit, multiply.

You will make the number bigger and multiplication is all about making numbers bigger. Here we convert one yardstick to three rulers:

Convert from a larger unit to a smaller unit
convert measurement 1

If you need to convert from a smaller unit to a larger unit, divide.

You will make the number smaller and, as you already know, division is all about making numbers smaller.

Converting Measurement Units

Let's take a closer look at how we convert some of the more common measurement units.

1. Convert Weight Measurements

Imagine your mom has been saying she needs to lose 3 pounds. How many ounces are there in 3 pounds? We are converting from a larger unit to a smaller unit so we must multiply: 3 x 16 = 48 ounces.

From ounces to pounds, divide by 16. From pounds to tons, divide by 2,000. From smaller to larger, divide.

From tons to pounds, multiply by 2,000. From pounds to ounces, multiply by 16. From larger to smaller, multiply.

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