How long is a piece of string?


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in using standard measuring tools in a non-standard manner.

Achievement Objectives
GM3-1: Use linear scales and whole numbers of metric units for length, area, volume and capacity, weight (mass), angle, temperature, and time.
Description of Mathematics

In readiness for this problem, the students should have familiarity with each of the following components of mathematics. The problem may be solved with different combinations of these components.

  • addition and subtraction basic facts
  • metric measures of length
  • converting between mm and cm
  • using a ruler (cm and mm)
  • working with numbers to one decimal place

This activity may be carried out with guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students’ skills and depth of understanding.


How long is this piece of string?


The visual approach (show more)

  • The student is able to modify or to make a model of the diagram to make a successful measurement.

The conceptual approach (show more)

  • The student is able to use the diagram given to give the correct measurement.
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Level Three