Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.

Quarter 3
Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit. Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.

Enduring Understanding

Measurement processes are used in everyday life to describe and quantify the world.
Data displays describe and represent data in alternative ways.

Essential Questions

Why does "what" we measure influence "how" we measure?
Why display data in different ways?

Vocabulary (online dictionary, visual mathematics dictionary, HCPSS Vocabulary Cards))

length, unit, inch, foot, centimeter, meter, difference

About the Math

Ask students to visually compare two or more objects. Which object is longer? shorter? or in between to objects. Then move to actual measurements. How much longer is your desk than the table? How can you find out? It is also important for students to compare lengths that are not in straight lines. Place yarn or tape on the floor in curvy configurations and ask students which is longer. Ask students to figure out if it is longer to walk to the gym or the cafeteria? How can we find out? When students are comparing lengths of objects they are internalizing the meaning of length and distance.

Rich Tasks for Multiple Means of Engagement, Expression, and Representation (UDL)


Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics, K-3

Crooked Paths, pages 249 - 250

Make some crooked lines with yarn, tape or another material. Have students guess which path is longer. Then have students choose a measuring tool (i.e. ruler, yard stick, meter stick) and measure and record the paths. Then have students explain which path is longer and why. Students can also explain if the results surprised them or not.

Crooked Paths Black Line Master

Activity 8.1, Longer, Shorter, Same, page 228
Make a sorting-by-length station at which students sort objects as longer, shorter, or about the same as a specified object. It is easy to have several such stations in your room. The reference object can be changed occasionally to produce different sorts. A similar task is to put objects from shortest to longest.

Activity 8.2, Length Hunt, page 229
Give pairs of students a strip of tagboard, a stick, a length of rope, or some other object with an obvious length dimension. The task on one day might be to find five things in the room that are shorter than, longer than, or about the same length as their object. They can draw pictures or write the names of the things they find.
By making the target length a standard unit (e.g., a meter stick or a 1-meter length of rope), the activity can be repeated to provide familiarity with important standard units.

Learnzillion Video Resources (5 Lessons)

Select image for lessons.

Print Resources:

Number Sense, Grades 1-2:
How Long is a Handful, pages 40 - 41,

Groundworks Gr 3 Msmt.png
Groundworks, Reasoning About Measurement Grade 3:
Pencils, pages 1 - 6
Maps, pages 80 - 86

Web Resources:

Games and Centers
Student Resources
Video Segments
Gummy Worm Stretch Center
Are You A Square or a Rectangle? Lesson seed
Measuring in Inches & Centimeters Student Resource Page
Learnzillion Video Resources
(5 Lessons)
Measurement Slide Game
The long and short of it Lesson plan

Comparing Measurement online game
Measurement Hunt Lesson plan

Metric Units of Length Word Problems Online word problems
Big and Little Lesson plan

Time to Move- online game
Rod Towers Lesson plan

Body Measurement- Lesson seed

Children's Literature:

external image 51TMGP2XDFL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg
Polly's Pen Pal by Stuart Murphy

external image 51YLbtbqrBL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg
The long and short of it
by Cheryl Nathan and Lisa McCourt

external image lessonplans_bookfairs_currconnection_millions_measure.gif
Millions to Measure by David Schwartz


Contact John SanGiovanni at

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Howard County Public Schools Office of Elementary Mathematics Curricular Projects has licensed this product under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.