1. Mathematics for First Year High School
History of Measurement
I. Objective/ Intended Learning Outcome
1. Recall at least 3 common body instruments used in early civilization.
2. Discuss the history of measurement and its evolution.
3. Explain the problem that resulted in the ancient system of measurement.
II. Subject Matter
A. Topic: History of Measurement.
B. Reference: Our Wold of Math pp. 85 – 89.
A. Daily Routine
3. Classroom Management
4. Checking Attendance
5. Checking Assignment
B. Preparatory Activities
1. Mental Problem
We use measurement in all aspects of our daily life. We use a ruler or a
tape measure to know how long an object is. We use measuring cups in
determining the amount of flour, sugar, and other ingredients for our cupcake
recipe. There are appropriate devices or instruments for measuring objects.
Do you know that these measuring devices did not exist during primitive
times? How then did primitive people measure things?
2. C. Developmental Activities
1. Presentation and Discussion
The idea of measurement dates back to the ancient civilizations Of Egypt,
Babylonia, and China. Through trade and conquest, systems of measurements
spread to many parts of the world.
The ancient system of measurement makes use of body parts.
The basic units used by the early Egyptians were:
Cubit The distance from the elbow to the
Digit The subdivisions of cubit, supposed to be a
Small span / Large span The distance covered with the palms of the
The basic unit used by the early Babylonians was:
Mina The earliest known unit of weight
The basic units of the early Greeks were:
Finger The basic unit of length
Olympic cubit The equivalent of twenty-four fingers
Talent the basic unit of weight
metrites The basic unit of liquid measure
The Chinese system of measurement employed parts of the body, such as
the distance from the pulse to the base of the thumb.
Shih/Tan The basic unit of weight
Chih/Chang The basic unit of length
The medieval system of measurement was an offshoot of the Roman
system which was a mixture of the Babylonian, the Egyptian, and the Chinese
Here are the basic units of measurement used by the Romans
Libra The medieval unit of weight
Roman mile The unit of measure for distance with
varying number of feet and yards
Pinte (pint) The basic unit of Liquid
Quart The basic unit of dry measure similar to the
modern English quart
3. The following are the units of measure in English system used by Great
Britain and its colonies.
inch Length of 3 barley corn
foot Length equivalent to 12 inches
yard The standard unit of length equal to 3
Perch (rod) Equivalent to 5.5 yards
acre 4 rods wide by 40 rods long
furlong Standardized as one-eigth of a mile
English pound A troy weight
avoirdupois Used for goods that had to be weighed
stone A multiple of the English pound
As a result of the French Revolution, the Metric System Measurement was
developed in France.
The International System of Units, universally abbreviated as SI ( from the
French Le Systeme International d’Units ) is the modern metric system of
measurement. It was established in October 1960 during the 11th General
Conference on Weights and Measures in Paris.
The Systeme International (SI) is a decimal system based on powers of
4. 2. Post Activity
Use the units that involve your body parts (digit, span, cubit, pace, fathom)
to measure the length and width of the blackboard, classroom, and a book.
Complete each table, and then answer the questions that follow.
Unit Length of a Book Width of Book
Unit Length of a Blackboard Width of Blackboard
Unit Length of a Classroom Width of Classroom
1. Compare your results with other students.
2. Are the results different from one another?
3. What statement can you make regarding nonstandard units of measuring length?
4. Are the nonstandard units of measure still applicable in the present times? If so, in what
Development of Measurement
Parts of MAN’S BODY → METER/ENGLISH SYSTEM → International SYSTEM
When ancient people began trading between tribes and nations, they felt the need for a
generally accepted and establish reference for measuring objects. This reference means the same
thing to everyone, this is called the standard unit.
We describe objects by their attributes such as length, weight, capacity, temperature,
time, etc. We measure the attributes using an appropriate unit.
The process of comparing an attribute of an object to a standard unit is called
measurement. A unit is an appropriate and standard measurement that is used as basis for
5. IV. Assessment of Learning Outcome
A. Measure the length of the paint brush below using each of the objects
Unit Length of a Paintbrush
Number of Paperclips used
Number of Crayons used
Number of Erasers used
A. Estimate each of the following to the nearest indicated nonstandard unit.
1. Height of a two-story building (span).
2. Distance between two electric posts (fathom).
3. Length of legal-sized paper (digit).
4. Height of a 12-year old boy (foot).
5. Width of a two-lane road (cubit).
B. Bring the following: ruler, meterstick, and yardstick