Measuring Height with Shoes


  • To measure height in nonstandard units
  • To count nonstandard units

Chart paper, marker; shoes, blocks, or other nonstandard units; The Three Little Pigs

how many

Literature Suggestion
Read The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall. As you read, call attention to the heights of the little pigs' houses. Ask children to notice that the straw house is about as high as five pigs turned end-on-end. The house of sticks is higher than the straw house. The house of bricks is higher than the house of sticks. The brick house is the highest.

Play a "High and Low" exercise game. When you say, "High," children reach as high as they can. When you say, "Low," children squat down as low as they can.


  • On the wall, place a masking-tape marker about 3 or 4 feet up from the floor.
  • Show children how to measure the height from the floor to the marker using shoes.
  • Have children take turns measuring the height. As each child measures, help the other children count the shoes. Model the language of measurement after each child has measured, saying, "The height of the marker is six Alexander shoes high."
  • On chart paper, record each child's name and the number of shoes counted. Leave the chart up and help children find their names and numbers.
Help children measure the same height using other informal measures such as building blocks. Count aloud while each child measures the first time. Children measure a second time and count with you.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can lay out and count nonstandard units when measuring height.
  • In Process - Child can lay out nonstandard units when measuring height, but encounters difficulty in counting units.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child is reluctant to participate in laying out units or counting.

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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