Children will gain an appreciation for the concepts of big and little and improve their measurement skills as they compare the heights of those near and dear to them.
WHAT YOU NEED
WHAT TO DO
- A long piece of yarn for each child (approx. seven to eight feet)
- Two paper clips for each child
- Masking tape (optional)
- One large sheet of butcher or poster paper
- Explain to children that they will be measuring the people in their families to see who is the tallest and who is the smallest.
- Distribute the yarn and paper clips to each child. Have children practice the following measuring procedure with a partner before taking the materials home.
- It is easiest if the person who is being measured lies down on his/her back with both hands at the sides.
- The person who is taking the measurement places one end of the yarn at their partner's feet. (If tape is available, the yarn can be taped down for accuracy.)
- The measurer then runs the yarn on the floor alongside the body of the partner until the yarn is in line with the top of the head.
- Instruct children to fasten the paper clip to this spot. Secure with tape if necessary. When the first person has completed the task, the partners will switch places.
- When the practice time is over, children should remove any paper clips or tape they have attached to their yarn.
- Remind children that they will measure the tallest person in their family as well as the smallest. Be sure children understand that they are measuring family members other than themselves.
- When children return the next day, they should have two paper clips on their yarn. Using a consistent measurement unit (a ruler, a row of ten unifix cubes, etc.) instruct children to work with a partner to figure out the heights of their tallest and smallest family members. They should record their results on a piece of lined paper. You may want to demonstrate the proper procedure for measuring their yarn.
- When children have completed their work, regroup the class and list results on a bar graph using large butcher or poster paper.
- Ask questions similar to the following to compare the data collected:
- Which family member is the tallest? How can you tell?
Who is this person? (brother, sister, mom, dad)
- Which family member is the smallest? How can you tell? Who is this person? (younger brother, sister, cousin)
It may be helpful to send a note home explaining the assignment with procedure suggestions.
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