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Measuring and Graphing Chairs

Hands-On Mathematics

In her article on the NAEYC website, Deanna Pecaski McLennan writes:


"Young children need to see themselves as capable mathematicians. Child-guided and child-focused explorations and teacher-guided math activities help children practice and consolidate their learning. This helps them feel confident about what they know and can do. Although many preschoolers learn some math concepts on their own, it’s important for teachers to include math in authentic experiences, resulting in a deeper understanding by children (ETFO 2010).  

In addition to creating a rich math and manipulatives learning centre, teachers can encourage children to use math tools and strategies in all areas of the classroom."

The following activity will provide children with the opportunity to explore measurement in a concrete, hands-on way.

You will need:

  • Story Book "Life Is Not Fair When You Are Just A Chair"

  • Camera (or tablet)

  • Paper

  • Marker

  • Printer

  • Clipboards

  • "Unit of Measure" (eg wooden block, measuring tape, ruler etc)

What to do:

Step 1:

Read the story "Life Is Not Fair When You Are Just A Chair" and discuss the different types of chairs depicted throughout. Ask the children to make comparisons between the chairs in the book and the chairs in their environment.


Step 2:

Take photos of the different types of chairs in the child’s environment (up to you if you do this with the children or independently- you know your children and what they are able to do).


Step 3:

Print off the photos and glue onto a table chart- place on clipboard- alternatively, you could insert the photos into the table and print these off ready-made.


Step 4:

Encourage children to measure the different chairs depicted in the photos (they could use measuring tapes, rulers, blocks- up to you what method of measurement is used), and write this in the table.


Step 4:

Create a graph comparing the heights of the chairs