I originally got the idea from a friend who taught her 3rd graders about the 'yard bug' she found in her backyard that has 3 feet. We don't have that math target so I modified the bug a little. I taught that the yard bug has 3 feet and instead of toes it has 12 inches on each foot. The yard bug is teaching her little bugs how to convert inches and feet and always asks, "Do you know the inches or the feet?" Each little bug has a different answer that helps the student decide what operation to use. The first little bug says, "I know the feet, so I multiply by 12!" The second little bug says, "I know the inches, so I'll make a chart!" Instead of teaching my students how to divide by 12, I taught them to make a t-chart, similar to the one we use for division in Everyday Math. Here is an example:
I usually have them only go up to about 5 feet or so to start.