Lesson plan

Comparing Tall and Short

From skyscrapers to ants, comparing sizes with your class can be endlessly fun! This lesson will help your students compare short and tall sizes.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theIs It Tall or Short?Pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try theIs It Tall or Short?Pre-lesson.

Students will be able to differentiate between short and tall.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Comparing Short and Tall
  • Sing the Tall and Short action song to the tune of "Are You Sleeping" (Frère Jacques): This is tall.(Open hands as wide as possible vertically.) This is short(Place hand an inch apart.) Tall and short.(Open hands wide vertically; then, bring them close together, x2.) Hotels are tall.(Raise one hand high in the air.) Puppies are short.(Place hand low to the ground.) Tall and short.(Open hands wide vertically then bring them close together, x2.)
  • Sing it by yourself first, and have your students sing along the second time.
(20 minutes)
  • Give the definition of short and tall. For example, ShortIs when something measures a small distance from end to end and TallIs when something has a greater height.
  • Display two items side by side, where one is tall and the other is short. For example, show a baseball and a baseball bat.
  • Explain to them that the baseball bat is tall compared to the ball because it has a greater height.
  • Explain that the ball is short compared to the bat because it only has a short distance from end to end.
  • Give students these materials to hold and compare them.
  • Call two students to the front of the class and ask which is tall and which is short.
  • Correct students if they provide the incorrect answer.
  • Choose several pairs of students with varying heights to compare.
(15 minutes)
  • Place students in pairs.
  • Give students 10 to 15 blocks per pair.
  • Instruct one person in the pair to build a tall tower and the other to make a short tower.
  • Have students compare the sizes of the towers.
  • Instruct pairs to switch roles building a tower of the opposite height.
(15 minutes)
  • Give students the Comparing Short and Tall worksheet.
  • Read through the instructions for each section with the class.


  • Point around the room to give students examples of tall items and short items. Give your students extra assistance with the worksheet.


  • Direct your students to measure the height of the towers they build. Instruct them to use a ruler and state how tall or short they are.
(5 minutes)
  • Check your students' worksheets to see if they are understanding the difference between short and tall.
(10 minutes)
  • Draw a tall and short image on the whiteboard.
  • Call various students to circle the tall or short drawing.
  • Sing the tall and short action song with the class.

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