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National Curriculum: Measurement - Year 3 - Activities

Created on 17 October 2013 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 10 March 2014 by ncetm_administrator


Programme of Study statement Activity
measure, compare, add and subtract: lengths (m/cm/mm); mass (kg/g); volume/capacity (l/m)      
measure the perimeter of simple 2-D shapes      
add and subtract amounts of money to give change, using both £ and p in practical contexts      
tell and write the time from an analogue clock, including Roman numerals from I to XII, and 12-hour and 24-hour clocks      
estimate and read time with increasing accuracy to the nearest minute, record and compare time in terms of seconds, minutes, hours and o’clock; use vocabulary such as a.m./p.m., morning, afternoon, noon and midnight      
know the number of seconds in a minute and the number of days in each month, year and leap year      
compare durations of events [for example to calculate the time taken by particular events or tasks].      

Activity set A

  • This is a simple but effective way to practise estimating, measuring and comparing lengths: give each learner a small piece of plasticine or modelling clay. They work in groups of about four. Give them 30 seconds to roll the longest worm that they can. As a group, they order the worms from shortest to longest. They then estimate the length of the shortest worm and once they have, they measure it. They use this knowledge to estimate the length of the next worm and then measure it. They continue to do this for all the worms. They can then find the differences in length between their worms and also add pairs of their lengths together.

Resources required: plasticine or modelling clay

  • You could adapt this mass investigation from Nrich. You could set this up for the learners to work on practically with balance scales.

Resources required: balance scales

There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.

Activity B - Perimeter

  • Give the children a piece of squared paper and ask them to draw a variety of shapes by shading sets of 5 squares. They then find their perimeters.

Resources required: centimetre squared paper

  • This Smaller and smaller investigation from Nrich asks the learners to predict, without drawing, the perimeters of shapes in a pattern.

Activity C – Add and subtract amounts of money

  • Set problems that involve finding totals and change. For example: Mike spent 76p on a bar of chocolate and £1.35 on a packet of biscuits. How could he have paid for them using the least number of coins? If he had a £5 note, how much change will he need?

Resources required: coins

  • Make a collection of take-away menus and store catalogues (particularly those that include toys). The children can use these to make up meals, wish lists for birthdays and so on to practice finding totals and amounts left from a given budget.

Resources required: take-away menus, store catalogues

Activity D – Time

  • Give learners sets of digit cards. They pick three and make up as many times as they can using their cards. They then draw their times on analogue clock faces and label them with the 12-hour and 24-hour times.

Resources required: digit cards, pre-prepared analogue clock faces without hands

  • The ‘Two Clocks’ investigation from Nrich asks the learners to find the times on a clock with no minute hand and to solve problems involving a clock with no hour hand!

  • ‘Just a minute’ type activities for practising the vocabulary of time (or any other concept) are fun and the learners really enjoy playing them. Write the words that you wish to practice on pieces of paper or card. Pile the words together and then, taking one at a time, give the meaning of each (without saying the word) How many do the learners successfully guess in one minute. Repeat this a few times. Ensure you begin with the words they guessed correctly – to build on their success. Do they improve their score? You could also do this in mixed ability groups with the most confident learner taking the first turn.

Resources required: vocabulary cards for the words you wish the learners to focus on

  • Give the children practice sessions where they use their mental calculation skills of, for example, addition, subtraction, multiplication, doubling and halving to deduce new information:

You could repeat this for days in different numbers of weeks, months in different numbers of years and so on.

During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock pointed in the same direction (so one hand was over the top of the other). At what time, to the nearest second, did this happen?

For Roman Numerals this interactive clock can be set to display Roman numerals for a variety of ‘Time’ activities.



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14 October 2016 12:29
For Activity A, the Nrich investigation about jugs is not about Capacity at all. It's a great activity, but it's about reasoning and manipulating number. The fact that it mentions litres is irrelevant to solving it.
By ciaramoll
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23 June 2014 22:51
Best interactive Roman Numerals clock I've seen...Others have the symbols upside down or wrong!
By heather86
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