Step 1: Gather materials.
- Tape measure
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.
- Say: “Put your feet out in front of you, so that everyone in the circle can see the bottoms of your shoes.”
- Ask: “Who do you think has the longest shoe? Who do you think has the shortest shoe?”
- Say: “We are going to see who has a longer shoe.”
Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.
- Ask two children come to the front of the circle. Try to choose two children with obviously different shoe sizes.
- Ask: “Who do you think is going to have the longer shoe?”
- Tell the children to put their feet side by side.
- Ask the children if they can tell which shoe is longer and which is shorter.
- Using blank paper, trace around each child’s shoe. Hold up the tracing and ask: “Which one is longer? Which is shorter?”
- Tell the children to compare the two tracings and ask them to point to the one that is longer.
- Continue to pair up the children to compare their shoe lengths until all of the children have had their turn.
Step 4: Vocabulary.
- Long, Longer, Longest: Comparison words for length
- Short, Shorter, Shortest: Comparison words for length
- Compare: To view at least two things and identify the similarities and differences
Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.
Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
- Watch as you measure their shoes
- Listen as you compare the lengths
- Decorate their shoe tracings
- Help you hang the tracings on the wall
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
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
- Make comparisons
- Measure their shoes
- Use a tape measure to compare lengths of shoes
Child care providers may:
- Write the measurements down on a piece of paper or on a white board or chalk board
- Help the children graph the shoe patterns on the wall by hanging the shoes from the shortest to the longest
- Use the vocabulary terms “shortest” and “longest”
- 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
Finger play: Little, Bigger, Biggest
A little ball, (Make ball with your finger and thumb.)
A bigger ball, (Make ball with your two hands.)
And a great big ball I see. (Make a big ball shape with your arms.)
Now help me count them,
One, two, three! (Repeat gestures for each size.)
- Use cutout paper shapes or real objects to show the three sizes.
- Create additional verses with other shapes of different sizes.
Go for a walk and pick up sticks. Identify who found the shortest stick and who found the longest stick.