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Distance is the length of space between two objects. But people can also measure the length of a single object. This worker is measuring the length of a sheet of glass. First, he measures the length from the top of the sheet to the bottom. Then, he measures the length from one side of the sheet to the other side.

There are two main systems of measurement. Most of the world uses the International System of Units (SI). The United States and two other countries use the US standard system. Each system uses different units to measure length or distance. The SI system uses centimeters, meters, or kilometers. The US standard system uses inches, feet, yards, or miles. This ruler shows how the two systems compare. The top half of the ruler shows centimeters. The bottom half shows inches. Inches are longer than centimeters.

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Making Connections


Have you ever seen someone measure distance? What tool did that person use?


Have you read other books about measuring? What did you learn?


Eve wants to measure the distance between the door and the window of her bedroom. Should she measure in inches, feet, or miles? Why?

Teacher Resources

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