Want hands-on Length Activities For Year 1? You’re in the right place! Our measuring length using informal units teaching resources will help your first grade/year 1 students learn to compare and order the length of several objects and make learning about length a breeze!
Before kids are introduced to measuring length using formal measuring tools like rulers and tapes, they need to be taught the essential skills and steps of the measurement process, known as non-standard measurement.
Read on to find out what you need to know about length and teaching Non-Standard Measurement For Kids
Teaching Length in Year 1
To build deep understanding of the measurement process and the skills needed to measure accurately kids need to practice measuring using informal non standard units like popsticks, paper clips and blocks.
So what is non-standard measurement?
Non-standard measurement is using an informal unit to measure objects. It’s used by students in Foundation Stage, Kindergarten, Nursery, Reception and Year 1. The purpose of non-standard measurement is to focus the child on key measuring skills rather than reading tricky scaled instruments. Universal non standard-measurement skills included learning to:
- select the right tool to measure the object being measured
- select the same unit and not different units when measuring an object
- measure without gaps or overlaps
- start and end the measuring in the right spots
- measure it straight
- be precise
The main difference between teaching measurement in Year 1 and the years below is the notion of using a uniform non-standard unit to find out how “much’ something measures. Preiously students have not used units to say how big or small something is. Instaed they have learnt to compare objects directly against each other to find out which is the biggest or smallest.
When teaching Length to Year 1 Students your teaching programs should focus on:
- using everyday language to compare 3 or more objects:
long, longer than
short, shorter than,
tall, taller than
- Using direct comparison to compare objects. This involves placing two objects side by side, lining them up, to see which is longer.
- Using indirect comparison of two lenghts – using a non-standard unit e.g. counters, cubes, paperclips, to decide which object is the longest or shortest
- Learning to measure and compare the objects by lining up items from the same starting point
- Understand that in order to compare objects the unit of measurement (non standard unit) must be the same
- Given a range of measuring materials which they can select freely to perform the measuring task. This encourages students to select the right tool for the job
- Use a piece of string to indirectly compare & order the length of objects
- Recognise that informal units must be uniform and used end to end without gaps or overlaps
- Discuss why two groups of studnets might get different measurements for the same object
- Estimating – encourage students to estimate their answer before completing the task, then review their guess, discussing how to make a good estimation
Hands-On Length Activities Year 1
Measure, Compare & Order the length of 3 everyday objects with these measuring Length task cards. 26 Task cards, Student Sheet, Answer Sheet.
11 Fun Monster Truck Maze Mats, perfect for math centres. Students Measure each maze using string, next they compare from longest to shortest and finally they order the lengths and enter onto the mat.
Blank version for students to trace their own paths.
21 Fairy Tale Measuring Length Mats. Students Select their preferred unit to measure, compare & Order the length of 3 lines.
How to measure using non-standard units. Students look at 4 objects per task card and decide which one is measured correctly. Includes 26 cards, answer sheet and student recording sheet. Perfect for a whole-class game of Scoot!