## How Many Legos Tall?

In this lesson, children will use a nonstandard unit of measurement such as LEGO blocks to measure objects in their environment.

### Math Lesson for:

Toddlers/Preschoolers

(See Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.)

### Content Area:

Data Analysis and Probability

Measurement

### Learning Goals:

This lesson will help toddlers and preschoolers **meet the following educational standards**:

- Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize and display relevant data to answer these questions
- Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data
- Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems and processes of measurement
- Apply appropriate techniques, tools and formulas to determine measurement

### Learning Targets:

After this lesson, toddlers and preschoolers should be **more proficient** at:

- Recognizing the attributes of length, volume, weight, area and time
- Understanding how to measure using nonstandard and standard units
- Selecting an appropriate unit and tool for the attribute being measured
- Measuring with multiple copies of units of the same size, such as paper clips laid end to end
- Using tools to measure
- Posing questions and gathering data about themselves and their surroundings
- Representing data using concrete objects, pictures and graphs
- Discussing events related to the children’s experiences as likely or unlikely

## How Many Legos Tall?

### Lesson plan for toddlers/preschoolers

#### Step 1: Gather materials.

**LEGOS**(either LEGO Duplos or regular LEGOS)**Markers****Items to measure****Sheet of paper**(Make a chart with three columns: a column for the items to be measured, a column for predictions and a column for actual measurements. Draw the items for children who cannot yet read independently, but also write the item name with the drawing.)**Chart paper**to record the results of the group’s findings

**Note**: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.

#### Step 2: Introduce activity.

**Ask**if the children have ever played with LEGO blocks. “What did you do with the LEGO Blocks?” (Built various objects.)**Explain**that, today, the children are going to use LEGO blocks to measure items around the room.**Model**how the children are going to go about measuring the items on their list. Begin with an item that is not on their list, such as a stool. Ask the children to**predict**how many LEGOS high they think the stool is. Write their**prediction**under that column. Using the LEGOS and a volunteer,**measure**how many LEGOS tall the stool actually is by stacking the LEGOS one on top of another. Write the answer under the actual measurements column.**Ask**the children what they noticed about how many LEGOS tall they thought the chair would be and how many LEGOS tall the chair actually was. Was it**more**or**less**than they had predicted?

#### Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.

**Explain**to the children that now they are going to**measure**the items on their list. But, before they actually**measure**, the children will need to**guess/predict**how many LEGOS tall they think each item will be.**Predict**first, then**measure**.- It is handy to have clipboards on hand for this activity, as it makes it easier for the children to write down their results.
- Once the children are done
**measuring**, gather them together to discuss and record their results. The**predictions**will vary, but the**actual measurement**should be fairly consistent. If actual answers are wildly different, then measure the items again as a group. **Discuss**the difference between a**prediction**,**a guess**and an actual**measurement**.

**Additional Extensions**

- Ask the children to
**measure**both the length and the width of each item. On the recording sheet, make four columns: a column for the predicted width of an item, a column for the actual width of an item, a column for the predicted length of the same item and a column for the actual length of the item.

- Ask the children to figure out the
**difference**between their**estimated**number of LEGOS and the**actual**number of LEGOS.**Say**: “You estimated that the apple was 13 LEGOS tall. After you**measured**the apple, you found out that the apple was**actually**only five LEGOS tall.**Ask: How many more****LEGOS**tall did you think the apple was? The**difference**between your**prediction**and the actual height is**how many LEGOS**?”

#### Step 4: Teach math vocabulary.

**Predict**:**predict**how many LEGOS high they think the chair is.)**Measure**:**Difference**: The distance between two numbers (e.g.,”The**difference**between your prediction and the actual height is how many LEGOS?”)**How many**: The total or sum (e.g.,”The difference between your prediction and the actual height is**how many**LEGOS?”)

#### Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.

##### Adapt Lesson for Toddlers

###### Toddlers may:

- Have difficulty making predictions
- Have difficulty manipulating small LEGOS

###### Home child care providers may:

- Skip the predicting column and go straight to the actual measurement
- Help the children snap the LEGOS together. Help align the snapped LEGOS with the measured item.
- Use the bigger LEGOS (called Duplo LEGOS) and ask the children to measure bigger items such as chairs or their own bodies

##### Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers

###### Preschoolers may:

- Have already grasped measuring with nonstandard units
- Have a strong number sense

###### Home child care providers may:

- Have the children
**measure**both the length and the width of each item. On the recording sheet, make four columns: a column for the predicted width of an item, a column for the actual width of the item, a column for the predicted length of the same item and a column for the actual length of the item. - Have the children find the
**difference**between what they**estimated**and the**actual**number of LEGOS. “You estimated that the apple was 13 LEGOS tall. After you**measured**the apple, you found out that the apple was**actually**only five LEGOS tall.**How many more**LEGOS**difference**between your**prediction**and the actual height is**how many LEGOS**?”

### Suggested Books

by Rolf Myller (New York: Yearling, 1991)*How Big Is A Foot*by David A. Adler (New York: Holiday House, 2000)*How Tall, How Short, How Far Away*?by Henry Arthur Pluckrose (New York: Children’s Press, 1995)*Length*

### Music and Movement

**Play the game “Mother May I?”**www.wikihow.com/Play-%22Mother-May-I%22

**Sing the song “Is It Shorter?”**www.songsforteaching.com/math/measurementunits/relativevalues.php**Sing and do the movements to “Taller/Shorter Longer/Shorter” by Ron Brown**www.songsforteaching.com/math/kindergarten-firstgrade/tallershorterlongershorter.php

### Outdoor Connections

- “
**Mother May I?**” is a fun game to play outside. Review the different steps and notice that*baby steps*are small and*jumps*are bigger. - Using any tool of nonstandard measurement (bigger playground blocks, children’s hands or feet), measure items outside. Measure “
**How many**” hands long the slide is or “**How many**” shovels long the sandbox is or “**How many**” blocks long the playground is.

### Web Resources

**Uses nonstandard forms of measurement to measure other items**pbskids.org/curiousgeorge/games/how_tall/how_tall.html**FunBrain will show you a ruler with a red bar above it. Click on the length of the red bar. You can play with centimeters or inches**. www.funbrain.com/measure/

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