Short Blocks

Maths Year 1/2 Autumn Measures

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

Comparing and measuring lengths (suggested as 3 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use decimetre strips or rods as uniform unit to measure a child’s height. Show Y2 that each rod is a standard unit (dm).
Further Teaching with Y1
Model using cubes as a uniform unit. Use cubes to measure the height of a chair. Record height of different objects in cubes.

Day 2 Teaching
Estimate and measure length using a uniform unit (beads). Use a 20-bead string to measure a child’s hand span. Compare and order different hand spans.
Further Teaching with Y2
Show that a decimetre is 10cm. Measure your foot using cm.

Day 3 Teaching
Show a metre stick. Use metre sticks to estimate and measure the length or width of the hall.
Further Teaching with Y2
Demonstrate how to measure objects with a ruler. Use 30cm rulers to measure in centimetres and metres. Show that a ruler is 3dm.

With TA or Tutor

These materials are for a TA or Tutor to use with a small group or 1-to-1. They support the learning in class in this unit.
Notes on How to use are provided below for Teacher and TA/Tutor.
Y1 materials are not provided for this unit - adapt the Y2 materials below or refer to <ARE Group Activities in Y1 Spring Measures Unit 1.

Back to Lockdown?
If your class or school is having to close for a while, these materials provide a home dimension as well as a clear route map outlining what to teach online, and what to practise at home.

Coming soon!

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Numbers before and after

Day 2
How many?

Day 3
Which unit?


Day 1
Y1: Estimate the length of snakes and measure them in cubes
Y2: Measure items or lines in decimetres.

Day 2
Y1: Estimate and measure items, in beads.
Y2: Measure classroom objects, in centimetres.

Day 3
Y1: Sort items into more or less than 1m.
Y2: Create a spiral.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

Y1 and Y2

  • Draw a fairly wiggly line of about 4 decimetres in length. Lay a piece of damp string along it. Straighten the string.
    Y1 How many cubes long is it?
    Y2 How many centimetres long is it?


  • Find a book which is…
    (a) 9 cubes long
    (b) more than 16 cubes long
    (c) between 10 and 12 cubes long


  • Estimate how long each of these creatures is in centimetres, nose to tip of tail.
    (a) a mouse
    (b) a worm
    (c) a gold fish in a bowl
    Use an online resource to check.

Y1 In-depth Investigation: Make a Stick
Children find a collection of items which in total measure exactly 1m in length.

Y2 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

Y1: Tall Towers
Comparing two numbers up to 10 and compare heights

Y2: Teddy Long Legs
Comparing lengths using uniform non-standard measures and using comparative vocabulary (taller, longer, shorter)