It would be hard to imagine a world where you didn't know if you were going too slow or too fast or if you were tall or short. You will learn what measurement is and how to measure things in this lesson.
What Is Measurement?
Measurement is the action of measuring something. We can measure time, weight, height, temperature, length, speed, and more. If we didn't have measurement, it would be very hard to know when to go to school, how much you weigh, or how cold or warm it is outside.
Life is so much easier when we know how to measure things, and that is why measurement is so important. Now let's learn about the units we use to measure things.
Standard & Non-Standard
Standard units are the common units used to measure something specific. We all need to speak the same language to understand each other, so we use hours, minutes, and seconds to measure time; ounces and pounds to measure weight; degrees to measure temperature; and inches and feet to measure length or height.
Non-standard units are random items that people choose to measure with. For example, I can use a paper clip to measure my notebook or yarn to measure my brother's height. I can use my hands to know if something is heavier or lighter, and I can use my fingers to measure my friend's arm. You get the idea.
How to Measure
Let's take a look at how to measure different things using standard and non-standard units.
Over 79,000 lessons in all major subjects
Get access risk-free for 30 days,
just create an account.
Height is the distance between the lowest and highest points of a person or an object; it's the distance from base to top or from head to toe. To measure how tall your mom is using a non-standard unit, take some yarn from your house, place one end at the edge of her feet, and cut the yarn when it reaches the top her head. If you want to use a standard unit, take a measuring tape and follow the same steps to see how many feet or inches the measuring tape says.
Length is the distance of something from end to end. To measure how wide your notebook is using a non-standard unit, get some paper clips and put them in line across your notebook, then count how many paper clips you used. To measure your notebook using a standard unit, you could use a ruler or measuring tape.
Temperature is a measure of the warmth or coldness of an object or environment. To measure the temperature of your room using a standard unit, place a thermometer inside and read the degrees 10 minutes later.
Weight is the heaviness of a person or thing. To measure your dad's weight using a standard unit, get a scale and ask your dad to step on top. Read the number that the scale gives you.
Measurement is the action of measuring time, weight, height, temperature, length, speed, and more. Standard units, such as seconds, hours, pounds, inches, and degrees, are the common units used to measure things. You can also use non-standard units, like paper clips, yarn, cubes, pencils, and hands, to measure things.
Find a ruler that has inches marked on one side of the ruler and centimeters marked on the other side of the ruler. Look for the 1-centimeter mark on the ruler. Is it closer to the edge or farther from the edge of the ruler than the 1-inch mark? Measure the length of your hand in inches. Measure the length of your hand in centimeters. Which number is bigger? Remember, your hand has not shrunken or grown. The difference in the numbers is because the "units of measurement" are different!
Find some measuring cups and tablespoons in the kitchen. A cup is a unit of volume, which describes how much space something takes up. You might find in your kitchen a 1 cup, a half cup, a third of a cup and a quarter cup. Fill a bowl with water. See how many quarter cups of water are needed to fill the 1 cup measuring cup. Repeat this with a third of a cup and the half cup. If you have a tablespoon, count how many tablespoons of water are needed to fill the quarter cup. A tablespoon is usually one-sixteenth of a cup.
Register to view this lesson
Are you a student or a teacher?
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Did you know… We have over 200 college
courses that prepare you to earn
credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the
first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn
credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.