Metric Measuring

Students design their dream gardens and collectively build a classroom model. With the help of gardening and landscaping software, they create a scale model of their garden. Applying metric system skills they measure their garden model in centimeters and their rooftop garden in meters. To cap it off, they launch a Clean-up Campaign.

For more about Special #3 from Rooftop Garden ~ Planting Seeds of Service, e-mail LaiLai Sheung, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Learning Standards
  • Estimate and measure lengths and distance in meters and centimeters.
  • Demonstrate use of simple measuring tools and record findings.
  • Classroom Activities
    1. Introduce common garden features:
        garden paths, topiary trees, shrubs, etc.
        Show examples of landscaping. Choosing
        some features, students design their
        dream gardens on paper.
    2. Prepare live and dried plant materials
        such as moss, branches, gravel, clay,
        popsicle sticks and floral foam. Students
        select one element from their designs,
        i.e. garden path or a sculpture, to be
        used for a class model.
    3. Students define measurement terminology
        and use centimeter rulers to measure
        lengths and widths of class model and
        distances between objects.

    4. Divide class into small groups of four
        or five students. Students bring their
        Measurement Worksheet (Button #1) and
        meter sticks to rooftop garden.
    5. Rotating groups from station to
        station, students measure dimensions
        and record.
    6. Students regroup to review and
        check results with a metric trundle wheel.
    7. Using software, students create a garden
        layout by recording the dimensions
        and features of their rooftop garden.
    Community Activities
    Students make weekly trash collections. They also create and display posters encouraging the school community to refrain from littering, and pitch in to keep the garden clean.
    Students investigate and discuss the world of outdoor design: landscape architects, horticulturists, sculptors, graphic designers, topiary specialists.
    Magazine photos of gardens, live and dried plant materials such as Spanish moss, fir, cedar, and eucalyptus branches, gravel, modeling clay, popsicle sticks and floral foams; centimeter rulers, meter sticks, meter trundle wheel, Measurement Worksheet
    Students work with LandDesigner to review garden plans and create their own design and log on the Internet for landscape features.
    Students are evaluated on contributions to the garden model, performance with measuring tools, and Measurement Worksheet

    Web Sites
    Making Measurement Simple The Metric System