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Small Snails, Enormous Elephants

Source Institutions

    Chicago Children's Museum

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Small Snails, Enormous Elephants

This activity (located on page 2 of PDF) introduces learners to the real size of animals using nonstandard measurement. Learners use Unifix cubes and yarn lengths to measure a variety of animals (photos), from the very small like a snail to the very large like an elephant. As an extension, learners can use the cubes to create a bar graph depicting the animals' lengths. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Yarn
  • Small images of animals
  • Laminator
  • Laminating paper
  • Tape
  • Unifix cubes
  • Scissors


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
      • Classification
      • Biodiversity
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Animals


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Chicago Children's Museum, ©2011


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