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Metric System Worksheets

When we buy and sell goods, we need to understand how much of something we are trading. This allows is to set prices and understand if the trade is worth it for us. In order to do that you need to have something that defines the quantity of what you are trading. This is where a system of measurement comes in. These systems create rules for identifying quantities. Over the years there have been a handful of different measurement systems. In the modern world the metric system is the world standard. It is interesting to note that the United States is the only industrialized country that does use the metric system as its overall standard. These worksheets and lessons introduce students to measuring items and converting between metric units.

Aligned Standard: 4.MD.A.1

  • Answer Keys - These are for all the unlocked materials above.

Homework Sheets

We have you choose the proper unit, use units in operations, and convert various metric units.

Practice Worksheets

This is a huge potpourri of question types. This covers more than one standard, but is heavily focused on the standard area.

  • Practice 1 - A water storage tank has a holding capacity of 200,000ml. What is this measure in liters?
  • Practice 2 - An airplane rounds the airport and travels 10,000 meters in a day. What is the measure in kilometers?
  • Practice 3 - There are 8 bottles sitting on the shelf. Each bottle contains 500 ml of water. Anthony poured all the water into one bowl. How many liters of water did he have?

Math Skill Quizzes

These are all word problems with metric units in the mix.

  • Quiz 1 - A super space shuttle has the diameter of 2000m. What is that measure in kilometers?
  • Quiz 2 - Which unit would you use to measure the capacity of a lawnmower's gas tank?
  • Quiz 3 - Which unit would you use to measure the capacity of two large soda bottles?

What is the Metric System?

A Rain Gauge

Ever wondered why is there so much hype about the metrics system? Well, the answer lies in understanding the metrics system. The metrics system is a standardized system of measuring. It is a decimal based system that was originally adopted in France first, as a system of weights and measures. These measures were important because they allowed people to be able to trade. The system is now widespread universally and used as the standard in all countries of the world except three. The United States is one of those countries that does not have it as its standard. This is because by the time the metric system came around the US was overly invested in using the traditional Imperial measurement system. It just was too time consuming and costly to convert fully over to metric.

The basic units that are a part of the metrics system are:

1. Meters are used for measuring length.

2. Grams for measuring mass or weight.

3. Liters are used for mostly liquid volume and measuring the capacity.

4. Seconds are the based unit for time.

To measure quantities that are greater or less than the standard units, they use the base ten nature of the decimal system to add prefixes to these standard base units. For example, the next place up is Deca and that means 10 of the standard units. So, a decameter is 10 meters. For larger values hecto- is used to denote 100 and kilo- is used to denote 1,000. The small goes for smaller values. The prefix deci- is used for 1/10 of a standard unit. Centi- is used for 1/100 and milli- for 1/1,000.

The metric system was modified in the 20th century to have a system of measurements that goes beyond simple length, weight, and volume. This system proved to be very helpful in science and technology.

What Countries Use the Metric System and Which Do Not?

After writing this title, I realized I could have greatly shortened it. This is because only three countries of what the United Nations recognizes as a planet of one-hundred and ninety-five countries do not follow the metric system. The non-followers include Burma, Liberia, and the United States. All one-hundred and ninety-two other countries use the metric system as their standard of measurement. While we say that these three outliers are renegades, they do use slight elements of the metric values. The bigger question should be what is the United States thinking? Get with the program big guy! The United States have official adopted the International System of Units to make things even more complicated. This means that in some walks of life you will see metric units pop their head up. Some industries that involve trade are solely focused on the metric units even American companies; they simply do not have a choice if they want to trade with the rest of the world. This means that many students grow up learning a different form of measures than they will use in their everyday life. There are basically two things holding up the United States from fully adopting the metric system. The first being the costs involved in converting all the gauges and measurement tools we use. Imagine you have a tape measure that measure length in feet and inches. The minute the conversion happens that is useless from here in. Think of all of the other non-metric gauges and tools we all use; we would need to replace all of them. Replacements cost money. The other reason holding the conversion by American is because it is a culture that doesn’t like discomfort. As the baby boomers hand the keys over to younger generations, we slowly begin to understand that we are a softer culture.

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