This wiki was created for sixth grade teachers for the purpose of compiling resources for a metrics unit. The activities here correlate with lessons 8-3 through 8-6 in the Math Connects Textbook from Glencoe McGraw-Hill and with the Kansas Math Standards.

The United States and the Metric System
This is a great little history of the metric system in the United States. Use this as your background knowledge for introducing metrics to your students.

Understanding Prefixes

In order for students to understand the metric system they need to understand the prefixes. This makes converting units much simpler and understandable and also helps students understand the sizes of the units.
Webquest: The Metric System
The title is a little misleading. This really isn't a webquest. It is a study help for learning the prefixes with several quizzes that follow. I think you might want to share this with students at the beginning but have them take the quizzes once you've gone through your lessons on metrics.
Metrics Prefixes
AAA Math has several quizzes for practicing prefixes, symbols and meanings. Look through these lessons and see what you think is most appropriate for your students.

Here's a chart to help with understanding prefixes.


A mnemonic device for learning the prefixes: Kids have dropped over dead converting metrics.

Download this pdf for a copy of the Understanding Prefixes chart.

Fractions in Metrics

Officially there are no fractions in metrics. However, you'll often see that 1/100 refers the relationship of a centimeter to a meter. Many critics suggest using only decimals but don't lose sleep over it if kids need to use fractions. Some of the sites I've mentioned in this wiki (AAA Math) show fractions. Your students will LOVE you if you tell them they don't have to know fractions! Of course, that's only for your metrics unit!
Also, you don't mix units in metrics. In standard measurement you might say 4 ft. and 3 in. But in metrics you'd write 1.5 meters rather than 1 m and 50 cm.

Metric Crossword Puzzle
This is a timed crossword puzzle for students to complete online. Warn your students that the answers will be spelled according to UK English! Ex. centimetre

Kansas Math Standards: Geometry– The student uses geometric concepts and procedures in a variety of situations.
Benchmark 2: Measurement and Estimation – The student estimates, measures, and uses measurement formulas in
a variety of situations.

  • The student converts within the metric system using the prefixes: kilo, hecto, deka, deci, centi, and milli; e.g., converting millimeters to meters, meters to millimeters, liters to kiloliters, kiloliters to liters, milligrams to grams, or grams to milligrams.
  • The student uses metric units of measure to the nearest millimeter.
  • The student describes the composition of the metric system.
  1. a. meter, liter, and gram (root measures);
  2. b. kilo, hecto, deka, deci, centi, and milli (prefixes).