Math at Home Math Access for Teachers
and Home Child Care Providers

CME Group Community Foundation



Show Me Your Shoe
Children will place shoes in order by size.
Content Area Standard Target
  • Algebra
  • Measurement
  • Understand patterns, relations, and functions
  • Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement
  • Compare and order objects by length
  • Sort, classify, and order objects by size, number, and other properties
Increase your knowledge
Print this lesson (PDF file)
Share with parents (Word DOC)
Comment on this lesson
Obtain materials Obtain the Materials
  • Shoes
  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Tape Measure

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the activity Introduce the Activity
  1. Say: "Put your feet out in front of you so that everyone in the circle can see the bottom of your shoes."
  2. Ask: "Who do you think has the longest shoe?" "Who do you think has the shortest shoe?"
  3. Say: “We are going to see who has a longer shoe.”
Engage the children Engage the Children
  1. Ask two children come to the front of the circle. Try to choose two children with obviously different shoe sizes.
  2. Ask: “Who do you think is going to have the longer shoe?”
  3. Tell children to put their feet side by side. 
  4. Ask children if they can tell which shoe is longer and which is shorter.
  5. Using blank paper, trace around each child's pair of shoes. Hold up and ask, "Which one is longer?"  "Which is shorter?"
  6. Tell children to compare the two tracings and ask them to point to the one that is longer.
  7. Continue to pair up children to compare shoe lengths until all children have had their turn.
Encourage vocabulary Encourage Vocabulary
  • Long, Longer, Longest Comparison words for length
  • Short, Shorter, ShortestComparison words for length
  • Compare – To view at least two things and identify the similarities and differences

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Make adaptations Make Adaptations

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

  • Watch as you measure their shoes
  • Listen as you compare the lengths
  • Decorate their shoe tracing
  • Help you hang them on the wall


Vertical line

Pre-K Children may:

  • Make comparisons
  • Measure their shoes
  • Use a tape measure to compare lengths of shoes


Home child care providers may:

  • Use the vocabulary terms "longer" and "shorter" when describing the child's shoes.
  • Show the children the shoes side by side and point out which one is the longest and which one is the shortest.


Home child care providers may:

  • Write the measurement down on a piece of paper or on a white or chalk board.
  • Help the children graph the shoe patterns on the wall by hanging shoes from shortest to longest.
  • Use the vocabulary term "shortest" and "longest."


Books Books
  • The Best Bug Parade by Stuart Murphy (New York: Harper Trophy, 1996)
  • The Giant Cabbage: An Alaskan Folktale by Cherie Stihler (Seattle: Sasquatch, 2003)
Music and movement Music and Movement

Finger play: Little, Bigger, Biggest

A little ball, (make ball with finger and thumb)
A bigger ball, (make ball with two hands)
And a great big ball I see. (make a ball with arms)
Now help me count them,
One, two, three! (repeat gestures for each size)


  • Use cut-out paper shapes or real objects to show the three sizes.
  • Create additional verses with other shapes of differing sizes.
Outdoor connections Outdoor Connections

Go for a walk and pick up sticks.  Identify who found the shortest and who found the longest stick.

Explore links Web Resources



Empty speech bubbleComment on this lesson




To report a problem with the site, please email us.

© 2011. M.A.T.H.