For this activity you need lots of old newspapers, and some sticky tape.

Make 1 metre length sticks using newspaper.

Tightly roll 8 large sheets of newspaper, 4 and 4 placed as in the photograph, so that the length of the stick when the paper is rolled up will be 1 metre. Follow the instructions given in the Notes for Teachers.

INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP ACTIVITIES

Find things that are longer than a metre. Find things that are shorter than a metre. Can you find something that is exactly one metre in length?

How many hand-spans make a metre?   How many footsteps make a metre? Stretch your arms out wide. Is it a metre from fingertip to fingertip or more or less than a metre? Think of other body measurements you could explore.

Are the learners in your group shorter than, taller than or exactly one metre in height? Who is the tallest person in the class? Who is the shortest person in the class?

What about your teacher? Is the teacher shorter than, taller than or exactly one metre in height?

How would you organise your class to stand in a line in order of height?

ESTIMATE AND MEASURE THE CLASSROOM OR PLAYGROUND  “How many metre sticks would we need, to get from one end of the classroom to the other?”

Keep this idea in your head. Start measuring the room, one metre stick at a time.

One learner could hold the first metre stick horizontally against one wall. Other learners could add one metre stick at a time and count them as the line of learners holds them in place across the room until the sticks reach about half-way.

Do you want to change your estimate? How many MORE sticks will be needed to reach the far wall? Then finish the line of metre sticks. When finished, you will have a line of metre sticks end to end, each one held by one learner, to make it easier to count.

Your room probably does not measure an EXACT numbers of metres. How would you measure the length of the ‘extra bit’. Is the length of the classroom the same in the other direction? What else can we measure in this way?

MEASURING IN CENTIMETRES  The next stage is to discuss the need to make more accurate measurements and to have standard units of measurement and to introduce the idea of centimetres and metres as standard measures of length. Mark the sticks into 10 centimetre lengths and then mark one section into 1 centimetre lengths so that you can measure objects around you in centimetres.