### Maths: The Concept of Length

Children usually are introduced to the world of maths measurement through learning about length.

Length can be a property of an object or shape e.g. the length of a table or sides of a squares; it can be the height of a person; or the
distance between two points or objects.

In most everyday situations, what is being measured is a line that has to be imagined. Eg when measuring the height of a person, we are measuring an imaginary perpendicular line that joins a point on the ground to the top of the person’s head.

Length is an important foundational concept to grasp as it is required to understand concepts of area and volume.

### Learning about Length with Superheroes and Villains

I once heard the argument that if learning was too much fun, it could detract from the lesson; all the learner would take away from the experience would be that it was fun; they may not make any significant gains in their knowledge or understanding.

I understand the point being made, but I would argue that for a learner to learn, they must also be engaged in the learning experience.
Learning must be fun to some extent. It needs to be attractive and engaging so as to motivate the learner to take risks; to experiment with new ways of doing, thinking and relating to the world around them.

This maths activity is a simple and fun introduction to the concept of length.

Materials:

Enough superheroes and villain toys to make a few lines. You can easily change this to any objects of interest to your child. Eg. wooden blocks, toy cars, trains, dolls, play dough, etc.

How we played and learned:

Using my sons’ interest in superheroes and their associated villains, we made lines of superheroes and villains.

We formed the lines next to each other and compared their lengths.

We discussed whether the lines were short or long.

We used length vocabulary, e.g. long, short, the same as, longer, shorter.

N & M: 4 years, 1 month
July 2012

Check out our Maths for Under Fives for more fun and engaging maths learning activities.

Pauline LessonsLearntJournal is all about life with kids. On Lessons Learnt Journal you'll find activities for children: play, maths games, handwriting, reading as well as parenting confessions. Pauline is a Christian, Wife, Mother of 4, Primary School Teacher. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed. Most days you'll find her chasing her kids and that much needed nap.

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### 22 Responses to Maths: Length with Superheroes and Villains

1. This is fantastic! What a fun way to engage kids. I’ve pinned. it.

• Pauline says:

Thank you for the pin and your visit.

2. I agree. Make learning fun, as you have here, and children learn while they play. And, they love it! You have followed your own children’s interests and build a lesson tailored for what they love. Wonderful! ~heather

• Pauline says:

Thank you Heather for your kind words. Hope you and your brood are bouncing along splendidly.

3. Nae says:

This is Awesome.
My son would totally get into this.
thanks for sharing

• Pauline says:

Thank you for visiting Nae

4. Caz says:

Completely agree, following a childs interests is the most effective way to engage and teach them just about anything! What a great way to spend time with your son and sneak in some learning as well

• Pauline says:

Mums the word, wink wink

5. Suz says:

Oh! I love it! Learning is all about engagement – particularly with littlies. What a fun and simple activity.

• Pauline says:

I know. I pity the students of those who don’t agree.

6. Kelly says:

What a super (hee hee) fun way to look at these concepts! I think anytime you can introduce a concept in a fun way, and with something they already have a great interest in, it seems to grab their attention and imagination!

• Pauline says:

I agree Kelly. I would feel the same when learning too!

7. What a wonderful way to use all those treasures my son has that seems to have lost their usefulness!

• Pauline says:

Hope he has fun lining them up!

8. What a great way to practice measuring! My son loves lining up and measuring his cars.
And yes, I agree that lessons need to be engaging for learning to be meaningful.

• Pauline says:

Ahh… Yes, time to get put the cars next week I think. I loved your round up of measuring this week.

9. Debs says:

I think that is a great way to learn! Even ‘just playing’ a child will learn, but it is with guidance like this and through talking and discussing that they will consolidate that learning further and gain a greater understanding in context. Fabulous pictures as always! Thanks for sharing

• Pauline says:

10. Josie says:

Nice idea and pinned! And wow, I thought we owned a lot of action figures

• Pauline says:

Hi Josie. Thanks! Yep, we have A WHOLE LOT of action figures. The kids love it almost as much as Mr. Dad. LOL.

11. Jode says:

What a truly clever and unique post! Such a fun way to incorporate maths and learning!

• Pauline says:

Hee hee hee… yep. Those action figures are sure worth their weight in gold. They get played with so much!