Kathie Bowles
  This is the first activity of a three-part project on Industrial Measurement. The lessons could easily be combined into one learning activity or used separately as presented here. The lessons in the project are:
1. Using the industrial ruler 2. Using calipers to assess acceptable dimensions 3. Using micrometers in the workplace

  Adult basic education, Employability, Job skills, Mathematics

Learner Level:
  Individual and small group

Time Frame:
  1-2 hour session, depending upon learners' grasp of material presented

Learner Grouping:
  Appropriate for learners with competency in basic math skills

  I have a combination Families First/ABE class of anywhere from 7-10 students each day. They range in age from 18 to 77 and we meet from 8 AM to 12 PM. All have basic skills (grade levels 5-8.9) and half of those are in the credentialing level (9-12.9). The group can blend skills easily for team projects. They also all work well individually. Our setting is a large classroom with computers, conference tables, etc. 

Families First is the Tennessee program to provide training for those welfare recipients who lack basic education skills. While learners do work toward a GED, emphasis in these classes is shifting toward the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learners need to acquire and keep a good job.

  Smith County Families First/ABE

Type of Program:

Student Population Served:
  Basic skills, grade levels 5.0 - 8.9
Credentialing, grade levels 9.0 - 12.9

Industrial measurement: Using the industrial ruler

Participants learn how to use the special ruler currently used for precise measurement in industrial settings. In this lesson, learners will work individually to analyze whether given objects would meet the correct specifications required for a particular manufactured product. __________________________________________________________

Learning Objective:

  • Learners will accurately measure several common objects using the industrial ruler.
  • Learners will determine whether a manufactured product meets correct specifications for length, height, and width based on information furnished and their own observations.

Primary Skill:
Using math to solve problems and communicate

Secondary Skills:
Observe critically, Learn through research

Learner Needs & Goals:
Employees are many times asked to make decisions about the acceptability and correctness of articles they are helping produce. By knowing how to interpret and analyze written information, and make accurate observations, employees become more competent and confident in their decision-making.

Learning Activity Description:
(1) Spend some time in introducing the lesson and explaining the importance of the activity. Ask learners:

  • Why is the correct measurement of products important?
  • Have you ever purchased a product that was not correctly measured?
  • What are some difficulties or consequences resulting from "imperfect" manufactured products.

(2) Give each participant a six (6) inch shop ruler and several objects to be measured (boxes, books, or any item that can be considered pertinent to the subject).

(3) Demonstrate the proper usage of the shop ruler. (See Handout 1, 6-Inch Shop Rule.) Explain the measurement divisions and markings. Show how to add and subtract those marks to achieve a set dimension. Review the reduction of fractions, if necessary.

(4) Distribute Handout 1 and work through the problems with the learners until they have mastered the concept.

(5) Distribute the objects to be measured. Learners make their measurements using the shop rule and write them down on a sheet of paper. Prepare a worksheet consisting of problems related to the objects learners have measured. See Handout 2 - Worksheet Example for examples of the type of problems to include on your own worksheet. Have learners solve the problems using the measurements they have taken with the shop rule.

(6) Distribute a second teacher-prepared worksheet with questions to be answered Yes or No regarding the acceptability or usability of the objects measured. (Again use Handout 2 to formulate suitable questions.)

(7) Moderate a discussion with the class regarding what they've learned. Answer any questions they might have.

Materials and Resources:

  • 6-inch shop (industrial) rulers
  • Objects to be measured
  • Handout 1: 6-Inch Shop Rule
  • Two teacher-prepared worksheets: see Teacher Handout 2 - Worksheet Examples for examples of problems 
  • Overhead transparencies of 6-Inch Rule (see Handout 3) for demonstration
Attachments: (For Internet Explorer users, right click on link then choose "Save target as". For Netscape users, just hold down the shift key and click on the link.)

The assessment of the skill of measuring with an industrial ruler is formative. The instructor observes the work of the learners as they practice the skill, and the activity continues until learners are competent. Learners' correct completion of the instructor-prepared worksheet demonstrates mastery of use of these skills to solve practical workplace problems.

I believe the "hands-on" technique of this exercise gives the learners a sense of the importance of measurement in the workplace. By actually doing the measuring and analyzing themselves, they gain a better understanding of the usage of their newly acquired skills.


Click here to Provide Your Feedback on this Learning Activity

Go Back to Find Learning Activities | Go Back to LAB Home