Ordering Subjects by Size

Use a School Readiness Activity to provide early mathematics thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.
Mathematics (5,032)

Ordering Subjects by Size


  • To compare small, medium, and large cylinders and circles

3 paper cylinders (small, medium, large),3 paper circles (small, medium, large)

Literature Suggestion
Read Goldilocks and the Three Bears retold by Jan Brett. Ask children to identify the largest bear and the smallest bear.


Ask children to name different sizes of pizza. (Small, medium, large.) Ask them to name different sizes of drinks. (Small, medium, large, tall, extra tall, giant--answers will vary.)


  • Introduce the reference chart to children. Invite them to look at the chart and help them identify the sizes of the pizzas and the sizes of the drinks.
  • Pretend that the 3 bears are going to have a party. Mama Bear and Papa Bear are going to serve 3 different sizes of pizza and 3 different sizes of juice drinks.
  • Tell children that they are going to play "Special Delivery" and deliver the pizzas and drinks to the bear party. You will put out the pizzas and the drinks, and children will deliver them.
  • Call on a child to select a pizza and deliver it to another child in the room. Call on another child to select a drink and deliver it to another child.
  • Example: Say, "Special delivery! Roberto, please deliver the small pizza to Sandy. Stanley, please deliver the medium drink to Marcella." Have all children clap to reward the correct responses.
  • When children are secure with the sizes, ask for volunteers to call out the directions.
Teach children the "Pizza for Bears" chant.

    Here is pizza for the bears
    As you can plainly see.
    I'm glad that they eat pizza
    So they will not eat me!

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can tell the difference among small, medium, and large sizes.
  • In Process - Child participates and can tell the difference between large and small.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child is reluctant to participate and does not yet tell size differences.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
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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