Introduction to Length Lesson – Grade 3/4



This lesson introduces students to concepts of length, estimation and measurement. Was designed for grade 3 and 4 but could easily be adapted for use with younger students. It provides a great platform to assess prior knowledge to inform future teaching.

Australian Curriculum Links:

  •  Year 3 – measurement and geometry: Measure, order and compare objects using familiar metric units of length, mass and capacity (ACMMG061)
  •  Year 4 – measurement and geometry: Use scaled instruments to measure and compare lengths, masses, capacities and temperatures (ACMMG084)
  1. Warm-up: in pairs, brainstorm and list all the tools you could use to measure things.
  1. Share suggestions from warm-up.
  2. Teacher compiles this list in two categories (formal and informal tools)
  3. Students to pair and share (with different person from warm-up), talking how the teacher may have divided the groups of tools. Compare and contrast the groups of tools – e.g. accuracy, transferability, and universality. (I.e. using centimetres vs. ‘handspans’.)
  4. In groups of 3-4, students will brainstorm a list of 5+ classroom items and must use at least one formal and one informal tool to measure their length and record it in their maths books.


  1. Students to form a circle to share tactics and outcomes from the main task.


  • This introductory lesson is designed to be used as formative assessment.  Observation of the students, and recording some of their responses, will help the teacher to evaluate current level of knowledge and gaps which the subsequent lessons will seek to address.


  • Range of measurement equipment including metre rulers, 30 cm rulers, tape measures
  • Whiteboard
  • Markers and paper


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