Maths Year 2 Autumn Measures

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Measure lengths in metric units; rulers (suggested as 3 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss how to measure the height of a child, reasoning that it is easier to do this with them laying down. Pass round 1cm cubes, then show a decimetre strip. This is a decimetre, 10cm. It is useful for measuring things. Pass round several strips. How many decimetres long is Annie? Children estimate. Use the strips to measure the child.
Group Activities
--Measure objects using decimetre long card strips as a standard unit of measurement.
--Measure people using decimetre long card strips as a standard unit of measurement.

Day 2 Teaching
Look at decimetres and centimetres. Discuss how they are always the same length. Lay ten 1cm cubes along 1 dm. Draw round your foot and measure its length in cm, counting in 10s and 1s.
Group Activities
--Measure objects in centimetres using decimetre long card strips cut to length.

Day 3 Teaching
Show a 30cm ruler. Explain we can measure using rulers. Point out the cm. Demonstrate how we can measure things longer and shorter than a decimetre using the cm marked on the ruler. Estimate and measure classroom objects.
Group Activities
Use the ‘Fanned Fingers’ in-depth problem-solving investigation below as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
--Estimate and measure classroom objects.
--Estimate and measure distances in m and cm.

You Will Need

  • 1cm cubes
  • Decimetre strips (see resources)
  • A selection of objects to measure
  • A drawn outline of the teacher’s foot
  • Metre stick
  • ‘Measuring classroom objects’ (see resources)
  • Additional activity sheets (see resources)
  • Cardboard or plank to make a ramp
  • Selection of different sized cars

Mental/Oral Maths Starters

Day 1
Compare numbers to 30 (pre-requisite skills)

Suggested for Day 2
Count to 100 (simmering skills)

Suggested for Day 3
Order numbers to 100 (simmering skills)


Day 1
All children measure straight lines in decimetres. Some children learn a strategy to measure non-straight lines.

Day 2
Measure classroom objects in centimetres.

Day 3
Cut strips to the nearest whole centimetre and create a spiral.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • Draw a non-straight line you estimate at about 40cm in length. Lay a piece of damp string along it. Straighten the string. How many decimetres long is it?
    Estimate how long each of these creatures is in cm, end to end:
    A mouse
    A worm
    A goldfish
    Discuss how you can check your estimates. Access the internet to find out.
  • Measure a match in cm. How long would ten matches be if they are laid end to end? How many decimetres is this?

In-depth Investigation: Fanned Fingers
Children work together to first estimate and then find an accurate measurement of the distance around their hand with the fingers ‘fanned out’ or splayed wide.

Extra Support

Teddy long legs
Comparing lengths using uniform non-standard measures; Using comparative vocabulary (taller, longer, shorter)