Comparing Objects by Length

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10065

If you met a snake, would you rather meet a long snake or a short snake? Would you stick around to measure it? Learn how to measure things short and tall!


Measurement and Data

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Imagine your favorite cookies are on the top shelf of your cupboard, and you can't reach them! Think about your family.

  • Who is the tallest person who can get those cookies for you?

tall cabinet in the kitchen

Tall is a word used to compare lengths, or how long something is.

Since you want the longest person to reach up and get those cookies, you want the tallest person.

  • Why wouldn't you want the shortest person to try and get them?

Short is another word that is used to compare lengths.

  1. Go into your room and see if you can find your tallest stuffed animal, doll, or action figure.
  2. Now, hunt for the shortest one.
  • How did you know which one was the tallest?
  • How did you know which one was the shortest?

Great job! You just compared your toys by length!

Length is the distance from one end to the other end.

For example, the red line is the length of this puzzle piece.


Different puzzle pieces have different lengths.

For example, these two puzzle pieces have different lengths.

different lengths

  • How could you tell which puzzle piece was longer or shorter?

You probably used your eyes to compare the two puzzle pieces!

You can also measure the lengths! Sometimes you will use rulers, tape measures, or meter sticks to measure lengths.

  • But did you know you can use whatever unit you want to measure lengths to compare objects?

Let's use ants! Ants are smaller than puzzle pieces, so that will be a good unit of measurement to find these lengths.

measuring with ants

When finding the measurement of an object, you make sure to line the unit up end-to-end without overlapping.

For this example, the ants are lined up end-to-end, and do not overlap.

You can then find the lengths. The blue puzzle piece is 3 ½ ants long, and the green puzzle piece is two ants long. You know that 3 ½ is a larger number than 2.

This proves the blue puzzle piece is longer than the green puzzle piece because it has the greater measurement!

To learn more about measuring and comparing lengths, watch this video.

  • Is there a word you didn't know in the video?
  • What was it? What do you think it means?

Now, continue to the Got It? section to go outside and measure some things!

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