This measurement lesson was inspired by the story The Really Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne. It really got my Pre-primary (4-5 year olds) class engaged and motivated about measuring length! We started the lesson with a predicting question which lead to a great discussion and children making and measuring their very own dinosaurs. The best part was comparing all our dinosaurs to find out who had the tallest and shortest dinosaur in the class!
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Inquiry Question – Predicting
To begin, I offered the class a measurement related question that required them to predict. As children arrived to school they answered the following question ‘How many blocks tall is the dinosaur?’ On a A3 piece of card, I made 3 columns with the following answers to choose from, 3 blocks, 10 blocks and 20 blocks. The dinosaur is a colour photocopy from the story The Really Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne. The class wrote their name in the column that they thought was the correct answer.
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Sitting on the mat in a circle, we then discussed the question and why we thought what we predicted. It is really interesting to hear the different answers and why they chose it. I asked if anyone would like to change their answer now that we have discussed our ideas. This made for a great discussion about measurement and the children were really engaged in sharing their ideas!
Next we measured the dinosaur using connector blocks and began to read the story, The Really Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne. As we were reading the story, we would sometimes refer back to the connector blocks used to measure the dinosaur and compare the height of the other dinosaurs pictured in the story.
Some ideas for questions:
- Do you think this dinosaur is going to be taller or shorter than our dinosaur?
- How many blocks tall do you think it will be? More or Less?
- Is there another way we could measure the dinosaurs?
Once the story was finished, the class draw their very own dinosaurs on an A3 piece of paper.
We cut out the dinosaurs and glued them onto colour card with another sheet of paper that says ‘My dinosaur is ____ blocks tall.’ Each child measured how tall their dinosaur was using the connector blocks and counted how many they used. They wrote their answer onto the space provided.
Click here to download and print the: My Dinosaur is…. measurement activity.
When all the dinosaurs in the class had been measured, we wanted to find out who had the tallest dinosaur and who had the smallest dinosaur. This made for another great discussion about what was the best way to do this because we had so many dinosaurs! We decided to use the class numbers chart to assist us and children placed themselves in a line from the lowest number to the highest number.
- Use suitable language associated with measurement attributes such as shorter, shortest, longer, longest, tall, taller and tallest.
- Measurement – comparing objects to determine which is tallest, shortest.
- Problem solve and overcome challenges
- Predicting and making observations.
Measurement Learning Centres
Measurement Printable Ideas – as shown in the image above.
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