Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Tall in the Fall?

Tammy Hales


Students use nonstandard measurement to measure. Students estimate to predict the correct length before they measure. Students count the correct number of objects used to measure.


The student provides and justifies estimates for real-world quantities.

The student uses and describes basic measurement concepts including length, weight, digital and analog time, temperature, and capacity.

The student uses standard customary and metric (centimeter, inch) and nonstandard units, such as links or blocks, in measuring real quantities.


-Lionni, Leo. [Inch By Inch]. Mulberry Books, 1995.
-Fall leaves made from construction paper (each cut alike approximately 12 in length)
-Tag board strips (approximately the length of the children)


1. Cut out construction paper leaves (or nonstandard object).
2. Cut tag board strips.
3. Gather other materials listed.


1. Read the story, [Inch By Inch] by Leo Lionni and discuss.

2. Estimate how many leaves tall (or any nonstandard object available) a child is in the class. Have each child respond individually.

3. Measure the child together as a class. Have the child lie down on the carpet and measure the child with the (12) leaves tip to tip until you have reached his head, counting the leaves as you measure.

4. Divide the class into partners.

5. Each group estimates how many leaves tall their partners are and records their answers.

6. Then the groups measure each other with their leaves and record their answers.

7. Students glue the leaves on the tagboard strips to show their heights.

8. The pairs compare their estimates with their true measurements.


The criteria to assess this lesson is teacher observation. Using a checklist of student names, objectives for each student can be checked off as they are observed. The objectives the teacher is looking for are:
1. an estimate of the object that will be measured,
2. having one-to-one correspondence when counting, and
3. the use of the nonstandard measurement (leaf) by putting it tip to tip in order to get an accurate length.


1. Graph the class results.
2. Save graphs and do this again throughout the year as the seasons change. Compare and contrast the graphs noticing the children's growth.
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