How Far Away Is That?

Scripture: Genesis 27-28

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Jacob’s blessing and dream, focusing on the idea Jacob was traveling when he had the dream.
  • Students will learn Jacob had to travel very far to reach his destination.
  • Students will learn/review the various ways distance can be measured.
  • Students will learn/review how to convert one distance measurement to another.
  • Students will participate in an activity to help them practice converting one distance measurement to another (Ex: Feet to yards or meters to kilometers).

Guiding Question: How can we convert one distance measurement to another using math?

Materials: “maps” with two locations marked and the distance written in a specific measurement, signs placed around the room indicating the distance from one object in the room to another or between your room and another place (If you have the resources, this can be more fun if you create one of those poles with arrows and distances pointing to other places on them.), paper, pencils

Procedure: Review the story of Jacob focusing on the idea Jacob was traveling when he had the dream. Explain that although distances were measured differently in the time of Jacob than they are today, they were still measured. Explain to students that sometimes people will give distances in one measurement, but you may need or want them converted to another measurement. (Ex. Although this is more complex math, you can give the following example. In the U.S. if someone is running a 10K race they may want to know how far 10k is in miles, because they are more familiar with how far a mile is.)

Teach/review with students how to convert one measure to another. (3 ft = 1 yd, 5280 ft = 1 mile so 5280/3=1760 yes or if you have 4 yds, 4 x 3 = 12 feet, etc.) Have students go around the room and record the distances given. Have the students to convert those measurements into other distances which either you suggest or they do. Have students show their work. After students have completed their work, do any of the problems as a group that seemed to give students difficulties.

Additional Questions:

  • How can you convert metric measurements to standard measurements or standard measurements to metric ones?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research how to convert standard and metric measurements to each other. Have them repeat the activity, only this time converting the units of one system of measurement to the other.

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