How Tall

howtall Young children are fascinated by the concept of size and that's great, because it's an important element of mathematics. This activity explores the concept of size as well as the idea that people come in all sizes and shapes.


  • To begin to associate number concepts and numerals in meaningful ways
  • To observe similarities and differences

Before You Start: Tape the large piece of butcher paper against a wall. Talk with the children about their classmates. How many children are there? Who are they? How tall are they?

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Invite the children to tell you who is the tallest member of the class. Ask that child to stand with his or her back against butcher paper. Then measure his or her height in inches and make a line. Write the child's name and height on the line.

Step 2. How tall is the next-biggest child in the class? Continue this process for all of the children.

Step 3. If two children are very close in height, ask them to stand back to back and let the other children decide who is taller.

Step 4. After all of the children have been measured, talk about their numbers. Who has the biggest number? Does this number correspond with the tallest member of the class? Who has the smallest number? Is this child the shortest? Does anyone have the same number? Are they the same height?

Furthermore: Save the butcher paper for future use. After a few months, use the same piece of paper and measure the children again (use a different color of marker to chart the children's height). Have the children grown or stayed the same? Are the same children still the shortest or tallest in the class?

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