Section 5: Working with distance

Key Focus Question: Developing practical and imaginative approaches to developing pupils understanding of distance.

Keywords: Measurement, length, distance, comparison, active, practical, group, pair, investigative, proof.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • developed ways of teaching measurement of length in a more pupil-centred way;
  • developed your ability to facilitate and assess practical investigations using distance as a context.


This section deals with the important process of investigations and their value in mathematics education. Investigations can be done in class, individually or in groups. They can also be done at home by individual pupils, and either be presented to the whole class verbally or be presented formally as written work.

Investigations are based on having an idea or a phenomenon that you want to find out about and to do this you are encouraged to undertake various tasks that enable you to find answers to your questions. Investigations can include practical work but can also be mental activities as you search books etc for answers.

This section will help you develop pupils’ spatial understanding, as they learn to solve problems through estimating, measuring, drawing, experimenting, constructing, interpreting and calculating lengths and distances.

Resource 4: Traditional weights used in Ghana

1. Organising an investigation