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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Everyday maths 1 (Wales)

1.1 Instruments of measure

So what do you use to measure things? If you were to measure something small, such as a screw, you would probably use a ruler. To measure something bigger, like the length of a room or garden, you would probably use a tape measure.

You could try estimating the size of something before measuring it, which would help you to decide what tool you need to measure it. If you wanted to measure the walls of a room before redecorating, you’d get a more accurate measurement using a tape measure rather than a 30-centimetre ruler! After you’ve made an estimate you can check how accurate it is by measuring the object.

How long is a pen? Find a pen, make an estimate of how long you think it is and then measure it accurately using a ruler.

Hint: To help you to estimate the size of an item, consider it in relation to other items of known length:

  • The eye of a needle is about 1 millimetre (mm) wide.
  • The width of the fingernail on your little finger is about 1 centimetre (cm).
  • A small ruler is 15 centimetres long.
  • A large ruler is 30 centimetres long.
  • A door frame is approximately 2 metres (m) high.
  • It would take approximately 20 minutes to walk 1 kilometre (km).

Activity 2: How long?

Match the following items to the approximate measurement:

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. 175 cm

  2. 15 cm

  3. 30 cm

  4. 4 m

  5. 25 m

  6. 10 mm

  7. 20 km

  • a.The length of an eyelash

  • b.The height of a man

  • c.The height of a double-decker bus

  • d.The length of a swimming pool

  • e.The length of a half marathon

  • f.The length of a pen

  • g.The length of an A4 piece of paper

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = b
  • 2 = f
  • 3 = g
  • 4 = c
  • 5 = d
  • 6 = a
  • 7 = e

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371