Maths Year 3/4 Spring Measures

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

Length and data (suggested as 3 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show a metre stick. Use this to estimate the heights of outlines of people. Measure one of the outlines and model how we record this, e.g. 134cm is 1 metre and 34cm (Y3) or 1.34m (Y4).
Group Activities: T with Y4
Y3 -- Measuring heights using cm. Convert to m and cm.
Y4 -- Convert height measurements from cm to m and cm, and distances from m to km.
Day 2 Teaching
Measure our feet in cm. Discuss the need for a smaller unit. Demonstrate how to use mm for accuracy. Convert mm to cm and mm (Y3) and to cm only (Y4).
Whole Class Activity: T to Circulate
-- Are both our feet the same size? Measuring feet in mm and comparing. Convert to cm and mm (Y3) or cm only (Y4).
Day 3 Teaching
Today children will carry out their own measuring investigations (length). They can choose what their investigation will be about but it must be simple and answer a question. Give some examples and model using a bar chart to display findings.
Whole Class Activity: T to Circulate
Use the ‘Hands and Fingers’ in-depth problem-solving investigation below as today’s group activity.
Or, use the investigation below:
-- Measuring investigation and data presentation.

You Will Need

  • People outlines
  • Metre sticks
  • Height recording table (see resources)
  • Tape measures
  • Recording table (see resources)
  • Blank cards
  • Sticky tack
  • Rulers marked in millimetres
  • Are both our feet the same size? Sheets 1 and 2 (see resources)
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Squared paper background on the IWB
  • cm² paper

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Choose units of measurement

Day 2
Convert units of measurement

Day 3
Mark 1/10s or 0.1s on a line


Day 1
Y3: Convert from centimetres to metres and centimetres. Compare heights.
Y4: Convert measurements from centimetres to metres and vice-versa.

Day 2
Y3: Measure and compare colouring pencils in millimetres, convert to centimetres and millimetres.
Y4: Measure lines in millimetres. Convert them to centimetres and millimetres/ decimals.

Day 3
Y3/ Y4: Pick a unit of length: suggest items and measure in specific units.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving


  • Draw a wiggly line of about 10cm in length. Use a piece of damp string to help you measure it accurately. Write its length in cm and mm. Repeat this trying to draw a wiggly line of exactly 10cm.
  • True or false?
    10 lots of 100mm is the same as 1 metre.
    Half a centimetre is 50mm.
    There are 200mm in 20cm.
    5 metres is longer than 5000mm.
    The average domestic cat is about 40cm, tip of nose to end of tail.


  • Look at these lengths. Estimate their accuracy. Tick if they look correct.
    Car length: 4.5m
    Cat, nose to tail: 0.42m
    Mobile phone: 15mm
    Wax crayon 100mm
    Teaspoon: 200cm
  • Write the missing numbers or units.
    3.4cm = ☐mm
    ☐cm = 2.35m
    10m = 1000☐
    129mm = ☐cm
    3400mm = 3.4☐

In-depth investigation: Hands and Fingers
Children test a theory finding and using accurate measurements to the nearest half centimetre.
Y3/4 spring week 4
Or, use the whole class investigation on Day 3

Extra Support

Y3: Old Measures
Measuring lengths in centimetres and finding the difference between 2 lengths by counting up

Y4: Expert Estimates
Estimating in metres and centimetres