- Learning math and science concepts
- Developing language and problem-solving skills
- Markers and pencils
- A tape measure, yardstick, and several rulers
- Chart paper and brown butcher paper
- Construction paper
- Masking tape
Set Up and Prepare
- On the top of a sheet of chart paper, write the question, "How many inches will I grow?"
- Collect the suggested measuring tools to share with the class when introducing the concept of measurement.
- Cut small rectangles of paper, 1" x 2", to record each child´s name and height.
Step 1: Discuss the concept of measurement with children. Show them a ruler, a yardstick, and a tape measure, then invite them to share what they already know about these tools. Pass around rulers and show them the way inches are marked. Ask them to point to the numbers 1 through 12 as they count the inches.
Step 2: Invite one or two children to place a ruler above a yardstick laid flat on the floor. Explain that 12 inches is also called a foot. How many more rulers can they fit on top of the yardstick? If one ruler is one foot, then how many feet long is a yardstick? Discuss how these units of measurement are used to determine how tall a person is, also known as their height.
Step 3: Choose an area in the class where you can measure and record each child´s height. (It should be an area where the information can be kept throughout the school year.) Attach a tape measure to the edge of the wall, preferably along a doorframe. Measure children and record their heights on the small pieces of paper. Attach the paper to the wall, beside the tape measure, to mark each child´s height. Encourage children to notice the similarities and differences between their heights. How many children are the same? Who is the tallest? Ask them to line up smallest to tallest so they can visually compare their sizes.
Step 4: Invite them to predict how many more inches they think they will grow by the end of the year. Hold a ruler above the head of one of the children to illustrate what their height may be if they grow one more inch, four or five inches more, or even a foot higher. Record children´s predictions on chart paper and display them beside their measurements. Decide on a day each month to measure their growth and update the changes on the wall chart accordingly. At the end of the school year, compare children´s predictions with their actual new heights.
Remember: Initially, units of measurement may be hard for young children to understand. Provide many opportunities for them to use measurement tools so they can develop math literacy.
Invite one child to lie down while one or two other children place markers along the length of his body. Then ask them to count how many "markers long" their classmate is. Now divide the class into small groups. Ask them to find other materials in the classroom that they could use for taking measurements, such as blocks, unifix cubes, or yarn.
Send a note home asking parents to show their child how long they were at birth. Ask them to measure the length on a sheet of paper or with string or yarn. Invite children to share this measurement during group time. Compare their birth lengths to their current heights.
How Kids Grow by Jean Marzollo
I´m Growing by Aliki