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Measuring Around

Purpose/Skills

• To measure round objects (circumference) in nonstandard units (lengths of yarn)

Materials
Two or three playground balls; yarn lengths with which to measure head sizes, name tags
paper strips to become crowns, stapler, crayons

Literature Suggestion
Read The Day the Goose Got Loose by Reeve Lindbergh. As you read, help children notice the head sizes of the different animals and people. (All are different.)

Vocabulary
measure
around
lengths

Warm-Up
Show children a few balls of various sizes, a ruler, and a length of yarn. Tell children that they are going to guess and test to find out if it is easier to measure a ball with a ruler or with a length of yarn. Have children guess--then test the guesses to show that it is easier to measure round things with yarn. Why? (It can be molded to the ball's shape; it is flexible.)

Procedure

• Provide children with lengths of yarn and help them put the yarn around their heads at the forehead level. Ask, "What are you measuring?" (head size) "What did you use as a measuring tool?" (yarn lengths)
• Measure around their heads and trim the yarn lengths to show the size of their heads. Attach each child's name to his or her yarn length.
• Provide children with paper crowns or headbands to decorate. After crowns are decorated, use the length of yarn to mark the place to staple them so they will fit the children's heads.
Enrichment
Provide an assortment of round objects for children to measure using different lengths of yarn. Encourage children to guess and test--to guess which yarn length would be closest to the size of the round object and to test their guess by putting the yarn around the object.

Observation Assessment

• Proficient - Child can wrap round things with yarn lengths and show a length that is close to the size of the object.
• In Process - Child participates and can wrap round things with yarn lengths, but does not always relate the yarn length to the size of the object.
• Not Yet Ready - Child is reluctant to try to wrap round things with yarn lengths, and does not yet understand the use of yarn lengths to find circumference.
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Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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