teaching resource

Spin and Sort – Longer, Shorter, Same

Teach Starter Publishing
PDF | 3 pages | Grades: K - 1

Practice comparing lengths with this sorting activity.

This activity is best used in a math center or guided small group to practice comparing length.

The resource includes:

  • a spinner
  • a “longer”, “shorter”, and “same” sorting mat
  • an instruction sheet.

How The Game Is Played

Print the sorting mat and spinner on cardstock for added durability. Cut out the arrow and attach it to the spinner. Alternatively, use a large paper clip for the spinner. Students place the paper clip in the center of the spinner and secure it with the eraser side of their pencil. Then, they thump the paper clip, allowing it to spin around the spinner until it lands on one of the sides.

Students take turns choosing an object that will become their “focus object”. They will place this object on one side of the sorting mat and spin the spinner. If the spinner lands on “longer,” they will choose an object they believe is longer than their focus object and compare the two. If they are correct, they will place the object in the “longer” section of the sorting mat. If they are incorrect, they will place the object back in the collection. Students continue to spin and choose objects, placing them in the appropriate sections of the mat.

To extend this activity, have students use an informal unit to measure both objects. Then write a comparative statement using the appropriate comparative symbol, e.g. 4 counting blocks < 6 counting blocks.

Other Ways to Use This Resource

This resource could be used in a number of different ways.

I Spy

Begin the activity with one person choosing an object in the room as the “focus object.” After spinning the spinner, the next person names an object accordingly.

Draw It!

Chose an object and draw it. After each spin of the spinner, draw another object that is longer, shorter, or approximately the same length.


Looking for other resources related to length? Click on the links below.

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