Is It Possible: Estimating Measurement

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In this activity, learners will decide together on a question about how far, long or high the group could reach together. For younger learners, choose something a few learners can easily test out: If we joined hands, could we circle the tree? For a medium level of challenge, pick something the whole group can test out: If we lie head to foot, could we reach across the playground? Older learners investigate by estimating: If we stood on one another’s shoulders, could we reach the top of the building? Learners make predictions based on mental calculations and estimates of size; then, if possible, they try it out. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:



  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Probability
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
    • Number and Operations
      • Number Systems
      • Operations
    • Reasoning and Proof
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Mixing in Math


  • , © 2010, TERC, Inc., MA., 2010

Funding Source:

  • NSF, ESI-0406675 and DRL-0713537