Introduction to active measurement for younger primary students

Brick walls 

Objective: To allow students to use the ideas of short vs. tall and horizontal vs. vertical.

Manipulative Activity: Distribute integer (Cuisenaire) bars to all the children in the class. Ask each child or pair of children to build the five different samples of brick walls illustrated on the Bricks worksheet. Have students describe the brick walls using the vocabulary:

  • Short
  • Tall
  • Horizontal
  • Vertical

Technology Activity: Students will use an integer bar applet written by Jacobo Bulaevsky to reinforce brick patterns that emphasize horizontal vs. vertical placement. Depending on the availability of computers for your students, this activity can be done individually, with partners, in groups, or as a class.

Have students go to Brick Walls.

Paper/Pencil Activity: Depending on the level of your students, you can have them complete this activity individually or with assistance. Here are some possible activities:

  1. Students draw pictures of brick walls using graph paper.
  2. Students record how many horizontal bars and how many vertical bars they use in their drawings.

Literature Connection: Rectangles
Sarah L. Schuette (Pebble Books, December 2002