Taller/Wider/longer

Purpose

This unit encourages students to use measurement language and counting to compare the attributes of length, width or height of objects in a variety of game situations. The transition from counting all to advanced counting is also supported.

Specific Learning Outcomes
  • Use measuring language to compare length, width, and height.
Description of Mathematics

Measuring is about making a comparison between what is being measured and a suitable measurement unit.The first step in the measuring process is understanding that objects have attributes that can be measured. Initial experiences are needed to develop awareness of the attribute and to introduce the necessary language, for example, long, longer, short, shorter, tall, taller, wide, wider, narrow, narrower.

The activities in this unit provide experience in using a range of measurement language.

Activity

Session 1

In this session we introduce the language of comparison that will be used throughout the unit.

  1. Ask students to put their hand up if they think they are tall.
  2. Choose two of the taller students.  Get them to stand up.  Ask the rest of the class:
    Are they tall? 
    Who is taller?

    Compare the heights of the two students to see who is taller.
    Ensure that all students understand that taller means more tall than.
  3. Repeat with short and shorter.
  4. Give each student a piece of string (ensure that the pieces are of a variety of lengths).
  5. Allow students to compare in pairs:
    Is my string longer?
    Is my string shorter?
  6. If you have a variety of toy cars or similar, you could use them to practice width comparison language in a similar way.

The following three sessions provide games in which students will practice the language of comparison.The games could be introduced in three separate sessions or all be introduced in one session and then played in groups rotating over several sessions. These games are also suitable to go into a general box for early finishers to use during other maths lessons.

Session 2: Wiggly Worms

Wiggly Worms is about the language of length. Students will be encouraged to use the words long, short, longer, shorter, longest, shortest.

  1. Wiggly Worms is a game to play in pairs. Each pair needs a dice with the sides labelled +1, +2, +3, +4, -1, -2, and a set of Wiggly Worm pieces (Copymaster 1). Students can cut out and colour in their own worm pieces to make them more appealing.
  2. Students start by each building a 5 piece worm as shown below. 
    worm.
  3. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and follow the instructions on it.  If the dice says +2, they add two pieces to their worm, if it says -1, they remove one piece.
  4. Each time a student has a turn they have to say whether their worm is longer or shorter than their partner’s or than their own before they rolled the dice.  They should check which is longer by counting the number of pieces in each worm.
  5. As the worms get longer, students should be encouraged to keep track of how long their worm is and count on or back to find its new length.  For example My worm was 7 long and I’m adding 3 so it’s 8, 9, 10 long now, it’s longer than it was.
  6. The game finishes when one student’s worm reaches 20 pieces long (or whatever other number you assign).  If a student rolls a minus which is greater than the number of pieces left in their worm they should ignore it.
  7. The game can be easily modified to suit your students’ ability by changing the numbers on the dice (or simply using a counter with 1 on one side and 2 on the other and excluding subtraction altogether).

Session 3: Tremendous Trees

Tremendous Trees is about the language of height, students will be encouraged to use the words tall, short, taller, shorter, tallest, shortest.

  1. Tremendous Trees is a game to play in pairs.  Each pair needs a dice with the sides labelled +1, +2, +3, +4, -1, -2, and a set of Tremendous Trees pieces (Copymaster 2).  Students can cut out and colour in their own tree pieces to make them more appealing.
  2. Students start by each building a 5 piece tree on their trunk as shown below.
    tree.
  3. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and follow the instructions on it.  If the dice says +2, they add two pieces to their tree, if it says -1, they remove one piece.
  4. Each time a student has a turn they have to say whether their tree is taller or shorter than their partner’s or than their own before they rolled the dice.  They should check which is taller by counting the number of pieces in each tree.
  5. As the trees get taller, students should be encouraged to keep track of how tall their tree is and count on or back to find its new height.  For example My tree was 7 tall and I’m adding 3 so it’s 8, 9, 10 tall now, it’s taller than it was.

  6. The game finishes when one student’s tree reaches 20 pieces tall (or whatever other number you assign).  If a student rolls a minus which is greater than the number of pieces left in their tree they should ignore it.
  7. The game can be easily modified to suit your students’ ability by changing the numbers on the dice (or simply using a counter with 1 on one side and 2 on the other and excluding subtraction altogether).

Session 4:  Wonderful Walls

Wonderful Walls is about the language of width, students will be encouraged to use the words wide, narrow, wider, narrower, widest, narrowest.

  1. Wonderful Walls is a game to play in pairs.  Each pair needs a dice with the sides labelled +1, +2, +3, +4, -1, -2, and a set of Wonderful Walls pieces (Copymaster 3).  Students can cut out and colour in their own wall pieces to make them more appealing.
  2. Students start by each building a 5 piece wall as shown below.
    wall.
  3. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and follow the instructions on it.  If the dice says +2, they add two pieces to their wall, if it says -1, they remove one piece.
  4. Each time a student has a turn they have to say whether their tree is wider or narrower than their partner’s or than their own before they rolled the dice.  They should check which is wider by counting the number of pieces in each wall.
  5. As the walls get wider, students should be encouraged to keep track of how wide their wall is and count on or back to find its new width.  For example My wall was 7 wide and I’m adding 3 so it’s 8, 9, 10 wide now, it’s wider than it was.
  6. The game finishes when one student’s wall reaches 20 pieces wide (or whatever other number you assign).  If a student rolls a minus which is greater than the number of pieces left in their wall they should ignore it.
  7. The game can be easily modified to suit your students’ ability by changing the numbers on the dice (or simply using a counter with 1 on one side and 2 on the other and excluding subtraction altogether).

Session 5:  Reflection

  1. In this session students could be given time to play their favourite game from the previous three sessions.  Alternatively, your class might want to create their own comparison game to play.  Ideas could include trains (adding carriages), skyscrapers (adding floors), fences (adding rails), or anything else their imagination provides.
  2. As a final revision (and possible summative assessment) students could be given Copymaster 4 to work through.  In this Copymaster they are asked to use the words they have been practising all week in sentences.  Possibly the first couple could be done as a class experience to ensure that students understand the task, and then they could work independently on the remainder.

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