Literature Connections:

Is A Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? by Robert Wells

Mathematical Strand:



Students will gain a better understanding of measurement in relation to size of objects

Grade Level:

First Grade

Lesson created by:

Jeanie Glessner

Lesson Description:


  1. Engage: Teacher will read the book to the class. During the reading, the teacher can ask the students to think about their study of whales and the comparison of the size of whales to other objects.
  2. Explore: After reading the story, the teacher and the students will go out into the hallway and designate a starting point (would generally be by the classroom door). A student will be designated as the official tape measure holder. The teacher will show one of the laminated circles (we used four different types of whales with varying sizes) with the statistical information about a whale. I began with the smallest of the four. The information regarding the whales' size was read aloud. Several students were chosen to estimate the distance of the whale's size. Those students stood on their spot after making their estimation. With assistance from the teacher, one student measured out the exact distance using the 100-foot tape measure. The student whose estimate was the closest placed the laminated circle on the exact spot. This procedure was repeated for each different type of whale. The Blue Whale being the biggest animal was done last. The students were really able to put into perspective how long 100 feet actually is by being able to visually observe the measurement.
  3. Elaboration: Students will use creativity to show the measurement of whales in comparisons to everyday objects familiar to the students, such as how many paper clips long would a beluga whale be.
  4. Extension: Students will work in groups to make comparisons of animals, such as the size of a shrew compared to a whale and be able to distinguish small from large.

Book Abstract
Grade Level
Math Strand
Participant Profile
Other Lesson Plans
From This Book
Book Authors
Other Lesson Plans
From This Participant
Complete Index

Copyright 2001 S.Ma.R.T.Books and Kansas State University