1. Teaching Ideas

The Role of Estimation in Measurement

Why do we estimate?

Our story begins with a group of students creating a structure using wooden blocks.

  • “That is so tall!” shouted one.
  • “I think it is taller than the teachers!”, said another.

  • Lawrence “I think Ms. Shemo is 153cms tall.”
  • Teacher “How would you know that?”

Lawrence explains that it is approximately 100cms from the floor to his shoulder. He added another half (50cms) and estimates that Ms. Shemo is approximately 153cms tall.

What do we know about measurement? When do we measure?

The students began to share their ideas.

The students were invited to estimate how tall the teachers are, “But what about how tall we are?” “And what about objects in the classroom?”

They created a table to record their data. They first estimated the height of the different objects. Then, they used measuring tools to check the actual measurement.

The next day, the students were presented with a photograph of Mr. O. How tall is Mr. O?


The students shared their estimates.

The students were presented with a second picture of Mr. O, this time Ms. Delia is standing next to him. Would the children change their estimates based on the new information?

The students shared their final estimates. They explained their thinking and strategies with each other. We wonder how we might measure Mr. O…

The students had created a structure using blocks. Was the tower taller than Mr. O?

How tall is the tower?

The students measured the tower. It was One hundred and seventy seven centimetres! 

Lawrence “But there are different ways to say one hundred and seventy centimetres!” 

The students explained their thinking.

Measuring Height

We wonder if Mr. O is taller than our tower!

Our journey continues…

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