Everyday maths 1 (Wales)
Everyday maths 1 (Wales)

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1 Using metric measurements: length

We can use different units to measure the length, width or height of items. We are going to focus on metric units.

Metric units of length
Metric unitAbbreviation

A millimetre is the smallest metric unit used by most people to measure the length of something. You would commonly use millimetres to measure items that are really small or need to be measured very accurately; for example, the dimensions of a washing machine is usually measured in millimetres.

Centimetres and metres are also commonly used to measure items for everyday tasks.

Kilometres would be used to measure the distance between places. A runner may clock the distance that they have run in kilometres.

Activity 1: Which unit?

Which unit would you use to measure the following?

  1. A washing machine
  2. The distance between Wrexham and Cardiff
  3. A nail
  4. A kitchen
  5. A bus
  6. A park run
  7. Your waist
  8. A sofa
  9. An envelope
  10. A screw head


Suggested answers:

  1. Centimetres or millimetres
  2. Kilometres
  3. Centimetres or millimetres
  4. Metres
  5. Metres
  6. Kilometres
  7. Centimetres
  8. Centimetres or metres
  9. Centimetres
  10. Millimetres

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