Aboriginal Perspectives



Jessica Wesaquate


Shape and Space (Measurement)

Grade Level:


Subject Area:



Main Objective:

Students will describe and compare everyday phenomena, using either direct or indirect measurement.

General Outcome:

Demonstrate awareness of measurement.

Specific Outcomes:
  • Classify and describe linear attributes of objects; e.g., long, short.

  • Arrange objects in order of size, by length or by height.

  • Cover a surface with a variety of objects.


  1. Felt pieces (cut like tipi poles) 3 per student – one short, medium and large in size.

  2. Pieces of felt, and scissors.

  3. Leaves or other small manipulatives .

Related Video:

Tipi Raising with Tim Haywahe and ‘Little Sisters’, video 3: Lining up the poles.

  1. Under the videos and lessons tab on our website, click on Tim Haywahe tipi-raising. Show the children video three where Tim demonstrates lining up the poles. Have students work with a partner to physically show you how long they think the tipi poles would be if they were to be placed into the classroom.

    Hand out felt pieces that are cut to look like tipi poles. Each student should receive three pieces that are cut at a short, medium and large size. Have them put these felt pieces in order from the shortest pole to the longest pole. Have them put the felt pieces from longest pole to shortest pole. Ask students how they know which one is the longest. Ask them to show you, which one is not the shortest, but also not the longest and explain.

  2. This is a continuation of activity one. Have students line the poles up from smallest to largest again. Give each student a rectangular shape of felt. Have them cut out a pole that is smaller than the one already cut. Also have them cut out a piece that is larger than the largest piece already cut.

  3. Note: When a curriculum framework asks for Aboriginal content that includes Aboriginal methodologies as well. A traditional style of Aboriginal teaching includes learning in an outdoor setting. This activity definitely fosters the idea of using what Mother Nature gives us to learn.

    Take students outside to the playground or a close by park. Have them collect fallen leaves that are roughly the same size. Have them find a minimum of 7, maximum of 12. Take the leaves back into the classroom and have them use the their leaves to cover their math journal or other book. Tell the students they can’t overlap the leaves or leave any holes where they can see their books. Have them count how many leaves it took to cover the book. You can have them use the leaves to measure other items in the class as well. Take the leaves back outdoors when you are finished with them.