Making Measuring Cups

Do you ever find yourself in need of a class set of measuring cups? You bring in everything from home (including the glass measuring cups) and beg, borrow, and steal from every teacher on the hallway and still don’t come up with 25 measuring cups. That has been me each spring as we begin our fun extension activities. This year I am going to be smart! We are making measuring cups!!!

What you will need:

  • clear plastic 8 oz. cup for each student
  • sharpies
  • water
  • graduated cylinder

First have the students write their name on the bottom of their cup.

photo 1

Then measure 10 mL of water in the graduated cylinder. Pour into the clear plastic cup. Using the sharpie, carefully draw a line where the water rises to. Label it as 10 mL.

Next measure 10 mL of water in the graduated cylinder. Pour into the clear plastic cup. You now have 20 mL of water in the clear plastic cup. Using the sharpie, carefully draw a line where the water rises to. Label it as 20 mL.

Continue this until you reach 100 mL.

photo 2

We also needed a 1 cup measure for a different activity. So we measured 1 cup of water. Poured it into our clear plastic cup (after we emptied the 100 mL) and drew a line and labeled it.

photo 3

Some things I have learned during this activity:

  • If you do not tell the students to draw the line on the outside of the cup, they will try to draw the line on the inside of the cup. (Oh my!)
  • If you want them to fit all of the numbers and lines, you will need to tell them to write the numbers beside the line. NOT on top or below the line.
  • Some students will find it more fun to play in the water than to ensure that their measurements are accurate. (humph…)
  • Some students will use an entire roll of paper towels during this activity when they probably needed 3 sheets. (head in hand, shaking…)

Needless to say, we made “measuring” cups. We shall see how the activities that need this instrument turn on.

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