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In the metric system, length, weight, and capacity has one basic unit of measure.





The metric system is another system of measurement used to describe an object's length, mass, or volume. It uses one base unit and adds prefixes. The metric system uses the powers of ten as the conversion factors from unit to unit


Meter is the base unit for measuring length.

Gram is the base unit for measuring mass.

Liter is the base unit for measuring volume.



Metric Units of Length

Kilometer (km) 1 km = 1,000 m A kilometer is about the length of 100 school buses lined up end to end.  
Meter (m) 1 m = 100 cm A meter is about half the height of a door.

Decimeter (dm) 1 dm = 10 cm A decimeter is about the width of your teacher's hand.

Centimeter (cm) 1 cm = 10 mm A centimeter is about the width of a pencil.




The chart above shows the relationships between the units of length, mass, and volume. You can use the chart to change a measurement from one unit to another unit.
How many centimeters are in 2 meter? To change from a larger unit of length to a smaller unit of length, multiply.
2 meter =  ___ centimeters Think: 1 m = 100 cm
2 x 100 = 200 2 meters = 200 centimeters
How many meters are in 5000 kilometers? To change from a smaller unit of length to a larger unit of length, divide.
5000 m = ___ km Think: 1000 m = 1 km
5000 divided by 1000 = 5  5000 m = 5 kilometers

Let's Practice!
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To measure smaller amounts, divide the basic unit into parts of ten, a hundred, or a thousand.

To measure larger amounts, multiply the basic unit by ten, a hundred, or a thousand.

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