Measuring Up

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

This lesson will allow students to demonstrate knowledge of length as compared to other objects.

Grade Level: K - 1st

Subject: Math

Length of Time: 15-20 Minutes

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Common Core Alignment

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.MD.A.1 - Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.

Objectives & Outcomes

Students will measure objects based on a set object (such as a pipe cleaner or ruler)

Materials Needed

Random lengths of string (5 to 10 per student), pipe cleaners (or rulers)


Opening to Lesson

  • Explain to students that sometimes we do not have a ruler handy, but can still measure or compare lengths of items based on something standard.
  • In this case the standard is a pipe cleaner.
  • Give every student a pipe cleaner.

Body of Lesson

  • Give students ten different lengths of string.
  • Tell them to use the pipe cleaner as a guide to see which ones are shorter or longer and then arrange each length on their desk from smallest to largest (shortest to longest).


  • Check student work.
  • As a challenge activity have students join in groups of four and arrange all the lengths in order from longest to shortest.
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Assessment & Evaluation

The students will accurately arrange pieces of string by length using only a pipe cleaner as a comparison measure.

Modification & Differentiation

Special needs students may be given extended time or fewer pieces for comparison.

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