Learn to Read Measurements Using Ruler, Weighing Balance, Graduated Container & Clock

Reading Measurements - Sub Topics

  • What is a Ruler?
  • Measurement using Ruler
  • Concept of Weight
  • Non-Standard Units to Measure Weight
  • Measurement of Capacity
  • Concept of Clock
  • Solved Questions on Reading Measurements
  • Questions to Practice on Reading Measurements
  • The reading material provided on this page for 'Reading measurement in pictorial problems: Using a ruler, weighing balance, graduated container and clock' is specifically designed for students in grades 1 to 4. So, let's begin!

    Reading measurements is an essential skill in various aspects of life, including cooking, construction, science and everyday activities. It involves accurately understanding and interpreting measurements of weight, length, capacity and time. 

    What is a Ruler?

    A ruler is a common measuring instrument used to measure and draw straight lines. It is typically a long, flat and slender tool with markings or gradations along its length. The markings on a ruler represent units of measurement, such as inches, centimetres or millimetres, depending on the type of ruler.


    They are available in various lengths, with the most common being 6 inches or 15 centimetres and 12 inches or 30 centimetres. The markings on a ruler allow you to accurately measure the length or distance between two points. 

    How to do Measurement using Ruler?

    A ruler has two sets of markings on different sides or edges, one indicating inches and the other indicating centimetres.

    On the side or edge marked in inches, you will find a series of evenly spaced lines representing whole inches, such as 1 inch, 2 inches, 3 inches and so on.

    measurement on ruler

    On the side or edge marked in centimetres, the ruler will have longer lines indicating whole centimetres, such as 1 cm, 2 cm, 3 cm and so forth. Each centimetre is further divided into ten equal parts, represented by smaller lines indicating millimetres.

    measurement on ruler 2

    By having both inches and centimetres on the ruler, you can choose the unit of measurement that is most suitable for your needs.

    Measuring Objects using a Ruler

    To accurately measure the length of an object, align the starting point, indicated by the zero-hash mark on the ruler, precisely with one end of the object. Ensure that the object is in line with the edge of the ruler. Observe the hash mark on the ruler that corresponds to the point where the other end of the object concludes.

    To measure the length of a crayon using a ruler, follow these steps - 

    1. Place the fork on a flat surface, ensuring it is fully extended and not tilted.

    2. Take a ruler with appropriate units (inches or centimetres) and position it parallel to the fork.

    3. Align the ruler’s zero mark (starting point) with one end of the fork. Make sure the ruler is touching the fork without any gaps.

    measurement on rulers

    4. Look at the opposite end of the crayon and identify the measurement mark or line on the ruler that aligns with it.

    5. Read the measurement value at that mark or line. If you are using a ruler with both inches and centimetres, ensure you are reading the correct unit of measurement based on your preference or requirement.

    6. The measurement value you read corresponds to the length of the crayon. It could be in inches, centimetres or both, depending on the ruler's markings.

    Measuring other Objects using a Ruler

    measuring objects using ruler

    measuring objects using ruler2

    measuring objects using ruler3

    For example: What is the measurement indicated by the pointer on the ruler?

    measuring object example

    a) 6.2 inches
    b) 5.9 inches
    c) 5 inches
    d) 4.9 inches

    Answer: b) 5.9 inches.

    Explanation: The pointer on the ruler, as seen in the image above, indicates a measurement of 5.9 inches, as it falls just shy of the 6-inch mark. Hence, the length is recorded as 5.9 inches.

    Concept of Weight

    To establish a solid understanding of measurement, children are initially introduced to the different factors involved in measuring objects. By familiarizing themselves with the concept of measuring weight, students can begin to discern comparisons between lighter and heavier weights. This knowledge enables them to recognize and distinguish between objects of lesser or greater weight.


    The provided figures help students develop an understanding of identifying the relative weight of objects, distinguishing between what is lighter and what is heavier.

    What are the Non-Standard Units to Measure Weight?

    Non-standard units of measuring weight are unconventional ways of quantifying the heaviness or lightness of objects that do not adhere to standardized units such as grams or pounds. These units are typically based on everyday objects or comparisons rather than precise measurements.

    non standard units to measure weight

    For example, non-standard units might also involve comparisons to familiar objects, such as " heavy as a watermelon" or "light as a feather" and vice versa.

    What is the Standard Unit to Measure Weight?

    The standard unit of measurement for weight is the kilogram (kg) in the metric system. A kilogram is a unit of mass that is commonly used to quantify the heaviness or lightness of objects.

    The International System of Units (S.I.) unit of mass is the kilogram (kg). Gram and kilogram are the most commonly used units for the measurement of mass.

    standard units of measurement

    Example 1: What is the weight of the potatoes shown in the following figure?

    weight measurements q1

    a) 100 gm
    b) 200 gm
    c) 250 gm
    c) 500 gm

    Answer: b) 200 gm

    Example 2: What is the weight of the bag of flour given below:

    weight measurements q2

    a) 3.25 kg
    b) 6 kg
    c) 3.8 kg
    d) 4.05 kg

    Answer: b) 6 kg

    Explanation: Since 1 gm = 1 / 1000 kg, 200 gm = 0.2 kg, 100 gm = 0.1 kg and 50 gm = 0.05 kg

    Weight of flour = 1 kg + 1 Kg + 1 kg + 200 gm + 100 gm + 50 gm

    = 1 kg + 1 kg + 1 kg + 0.2 kg + 0.1 kg + 0.05 kg

    = 3.35 kg

    Therefore, the total weight of a bag of flour is 3.35 kg.

    What is meant by Measurement of Capacity?

    Measurement of capacity refers to the quantification of the amount of space or volume that a container or object can hold. Litres (L) and millilitres (mL) are units of measurement used to quantify the volume or capacity of liquid or fluid substances.

    Relation between different Metric Units

    relation metric units

    Example: What is the total capacity of both containers?

    relation metric units example

    1. 15 mL
    2. 150 mL
    3. 1500 mL
    4. 15000 mL

    Answer: c) 1500 mL

    Explanation: The total capacity of the two containers is 1,500 mL. One container has a capacity of 1 litre, which is equal to 1,000 mL and the other container has a capacity of 500 mL.

    Total capacity = Container 1 + Container 2
    Total capacity = 1,000 mL + 500 mL
    Total capacity = 1,500 mL.

    Concept of Clock

    A clock can refer to a circular representation of time, with numbers or markers representing hours, minutes and/or seconds, used to measure the duration of an event or to indicate a specific time of day.

    Analog Clock: This is the traditional type of clock that uses rotating hands to display time. It typically has an hour hand, a minute hand and sometimes a second hand, indicating the hours, minutes and seconds on a circular or dial face.

    analog clock

    How to Read a Clock?

    Identify the hour hand and the minute hand. The hour hand is shorter and points to the hour, while the minute hand is longer and points to the minute.

    The clock is displaying the time as exactly 9 o’clock.

    how to read a clock

    The clock is displaying the time as "9:15" or "quarter past nine".

    how to read a clock1

    Remember that "quarter past" specifically refers to 15 minutes past the hour.

    The clock is displaying the time as "9:30" or "half past nine".

    how to read a clock2

    Remember that "half past" specifically refers to 30 minutes past the hour.

    The clock is displaying the time as "9:45" or "quarter to 10".      

    how to read a clock3

    Remember that "quarter to" specifically refers to 45 minutes past the hour.

    Example: Find the time from this analog clock.

    how to read a clock example

    a) Quarter to six
    b) Quarter past five
    c) Half past six
    d) Half past five

    Answer: d) Half past five

    What is AM and PM?

    Ante-Meridiem (AM) and Post Meridiem (PM) are used to differentiate between the morning (AM) and afternoon/evening (PM) on a clock. AM refers to the time from midnight to 11:59 noon, while PM represents the time from 12:00 noon to midnight. The switch from AM to PM happens at 12:00 noon.

    am and pm

    To convert AM/PM time to 24-hour clock time, one can follow these guidelines -

    For AM time (12:00 AM to 11:59 AM) -

    If the hour is 12, subtract 12 from it to get the 24-hour format.

    Keep the minutes the same.

    For PM time (12:00 PM to 11:59 PM) -

    If the hour is 12, no conversion is needed.

    For any other hour, add 12 to it to get the 24-hour format.

    Keep the minutes the same.

    Here are a few examples:

    AM Time

    8:30 AM remains 8:30 in the 24-hour format.

    11:15 AM remains 11:15 in the 24-hour format.

    12:00 AM becomes 00:00 in the 24-hour format.

    PM Time

    2:45 PM becomes 14:45 in the 24-hour format (add 12 to 2).

    6:20 PM becomes 18:20 in the 24-hour format (add 12 to 6).

    12:30 PM remains 12:30 in the 24-hour format.

    Example 1:  If it is 6:45 PM, how would you write the time in the 24-hour clock format?

    a) 18:45

    b) 4:45

    c) 06:45

    d) 16:45

    Answer: a) 18:45

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