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National Curriculum: Measurement - Year 2 - Activities

Created on 17 October 2013 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 11 February 2014 by ncetm_administrator


Programme of study statements Activities
choose and use appropriate standard units to estimate and measure length/height in any direction (m/cm); mass (kg/g); temperature (°C); capacity (litres/ml) to the nearest appropriate unit, using rulers, scales, thermometers and measuring vessels bullet      
compare and order lengths, mass, volume/capacity and record the results using >, < and =   bullet    
recognise and use symbols for pounds (£) and pence (p); combine amounts to make a particular value     bullet  
find different combinations of coins that equal the same amounts of money     bullet  
solve simple problems in a practical context involving addition and subtraction of money of the same unit, including giving change     bullet  
compare and sequence intervals of time       bullet
tell and write the time to five minutes, including quarter past/to the hour and draw the hands on a clock face to show these times       bullet
know the number of minutes in an hour and the number of hours in a day       bullet

Activity Set A

  • Sally and Josh measured the hall using their feet but they couldn't agree how many feet long the hall was. Why do you think that happened? What else could they use to measure the hall? Will that be better? Why?

    Other questions to use as starting points;

    • What could you use to find out how much water this container holds?
    • Would it be better to use multilink cubes or peas to balance the weight of this shoe? Why?
    • Would you measure the length of a book in centimetres or metres? Why?
    • What units would you use to measure the width of the classroom?
    • How about the weight of your teacher?
    • Look at a mug. Which of these amounts would you choose to say how much water the mug holds? 1 metre, 1 litre, 1 centimetre, ¼ kilogram, ¼ litre

    Possible contexts include:

    • Estimating measures, e.g. give children a 1kg weight to hold. Then give them a range of everyday items and ask them to say whether they weigh more, less or about the same as 1kg.
    • Estimate and then check how far you can jump from this line.
    • Units used to measure everyday objects, e.g. look at food labels and find a big packet of food that weighs less than a small packet of food.
    • Comparing objects using appropriate measurements, e.g. working with two or more objects to find the shortest, longest, heaviest, smallest capacity, etc. and explain how this was done and what units of measurement were used.
  • Ruler

    (NB The following three resources were produced for the Primary National Strategy, which was formally discontinued in 2011. However, the resources have the potential to complement teaching in line with the new 2014 mathematics curriculum)

    This Interactive Teaching Programme displays an on-screen ruler you can use to measure lines and the sides of shapes. There is a choice of rulers and five screens to use to demonstrate measuring length. You can draw your own lines and shapes or select those that are available on the ITP. The ITP can be used to demonstrate how to use measure using different rulers. The ITP can be used to compare lengths and the perimeters of shapes and to support children's understanding of scale. You can develop their ability to estimate length against a given scale and use the ruler to check the accuracy and demonstrate what to the nearest half and whole unit means.

  • Measuring scales

    This ITP allows you to add different masses to or from a scale pan. You can add masses of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 units. The pointer or hand shows the total mass. This can be hidden to promote children’s prediction skills. The maximum value of the circular scale can be changed together with the size of the interval. A digital readout can also be hidden or displayed. A red marker can be used to keep a track of previous values and to set target quantitiesp

  • Measuring cylinder

    This ITP allows you to control two taps that pour a liquid in and out of a measuring cylinder. You can set the scale on the cylinder to a maximum of 50, 100, 200, 500 or 1000 units and the scale interval to 1, 2, 5 or 10 units. You can simply turn the taps on and off and ask questions that involve prediction, addition and subtraction.

Activity Set B

Both of these activities require the children to order various quantities from smallest to largest. A good activity to assess estimation skills and knowledge of units of measurement.


Activity Set C

  • Fair Exchange

    In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Match your coin values to those shown.

  • Coin matching computer activity.

    This activity from Nationwide Bank Education has three levels of difficulty, requiring children to share coins equally.

  • Christmas Shopping

    Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which things could she give exactly the right amount for?


Change White Elephant is an activity about giving change.

Activity Set D

  • Tell The Time ITP

    (NB This resource was produced for the Primary National Strategy, which was formally discontinued in 2011. However, the resource has the potential to complement teaching in line with the new 2014 mathematics curriculum)

    This ITP can be used to show analogue time, digital time or synchronised analogue and digital clocks. The program allows you to add or subtract a selected time interval.

  • Counting stick

    Use a counting stick to practise counting in 5-minute, quarter-hour or half-hour intervals.

    1 pm 2 pm 3 pm
    1/2 past

    Since counting sticks usually have 10 intervals, you may wish to make a stick with 12 divisions.

  • What Is the Time? clocks
    • Routine activities
      • Provide plenty of opportunities to tell the time during the routine of the day. Put children in charge of letting everyone know when it is 10 minutes before assembly/lunch/break.Check that children can tell you how many minutes are in an hour and how many hours in a day. Have a detailed timetable for children to refer to, with times displayed as analogue clock faces as well as written times.
      • Matching times to everyday events, e.g. match some pictures of daily events to some given clock faces showing their typical times.
      • Comparing times, e.g. sort some given times into a sequence from earliest to latest and draw hands onto corresponding clock faces.
      • Problems involving the duration of time, e.g. School starts at 9 o'clock; show this time on your clock. Now show what time it would be if you were half an hour late.
      • I went out for a walk at half past 3 and walked for quarter of an hour. Show me on these two clock faces what time I started and what time I would then have finished.

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