Exploring Length Lesson: Measuring, Estimating, Comparing and Ordering – Year 3/4



This lesson provides students with the opportunity to apply their understanding of centimetres and metres in a range of hands on learning activities. Additionally, it introduces students to estimating, comparing and ordering as important skills of measurement. This lesson was designed for a year 3/4 composite class, has been tested and worked well. However, it does take 2-3 lessons (depending on the length of time you have for each lesson) to complete most of the activities.

Australian Curriculum Links:

  • Year 3: Measure, order and compare objects using familiar metric units of length, mass and capacity (ACMMG061)
  • Year 4: Use scaled instruments to measure and compare lengths, masses, capacities and temperatures (ACMMG084)

Lesson Sequence:


  • Recap of centimetres and metres, how to line the ruler up correctly when measuring and that we begin measuring at 0 not 1.
  • Discussion of what it means to estimate, compare and order in measurement with examples. Provide students with at least one visual referent to centimetres and metres. E.g. 1 cm = about the width of your finger. 1 m = about the width of the doorway/a large long step.
  • Discuss measuring to the nearest centimetre or metre and demonstrate how to do so.


  • Explain that there are two types of stations in the room; the Estimation Station and the Compare and Order Station. Each station has several different hands on activities with questions to answer.
  • Hand out the Measurement Fun worksheet and read through it with students. Explain the number of activities you expect them to complete (depending on the length of the lesson).
  • Allocate each student a station to begin working at. After a certain time instruct students to move to the next measurement work station.


  • As a class students reflect on their learning and share their learning experiences from the measurement stations with the rest of the class.


Observation and checklist recording students understanding of:

  • Estimation and the use of appropriate estimation strategies.
  • How to compare objects in different ways.
  • How to order objects appropriately according to length.
  • Measuring object using centimetres and recording them correctly.
  • Measuring objects using metres and recording them correctly.
  • Anecdotal notes of students may also be recorded during observation.


  • Measurement Fun Worksheet
  • Measurement Station Cards
  • Student work books
  • Several centimetre and metre rulers
  • Several ribbons of different lengths, textures and colours
  • Various objects to measure E.g. scissors, paperclips, books, chair, desk, basketball court, etc

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