Chrysanthemum: Shorter and Longer Names

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SWBAT define length. SWBAT use the terms "longer" and "shorter" to compare lengths.

Big Idea

To introduce these terms, students get to learn a little mouse with a LONG name! After reading Chrysanthemum, students look at how long all of their names are and use the terms,"shorter, equal to and longer than" to compare the lengths.

Setting Up the Learning

5 minutes


In first grade, we will be working on measuring different objects. To help us get ready for measuring, we are going to get our brains ready to use the words we will need to compare objects in measurement. We are going to be measuring length today. Length is how LONG something is. (I’ll choose a variety of objects around my easel to point out the length). We will be comparing the length of your names to each other.



When architects measure the lines they draw on their plans, or when construction workers figure out how long the building is going to be, they are using measurement. When doctors measure how long new babies are, they are using measurement. We use measurement all the time in the real world.


Objective :

Your thinking job today is: How can I use comparative language like “longer” or “shorter” to compare lengths of objects?

Opening Discussion

20 minutes

Read Aloud:

See video link for how I am using this read aloud to practice math language with the kids!


Word Meanings:

To help students understand the meanings of the words, we will focus on the word endings briefly before we actually start ordering lengths.

"Look at these words I wrote on the board: short, shorter, shortest."

I’ll circle the –er and the –est in a different color to make them “pop” to kids.

I'll discuss what these words mean, and then practice using -er and -est on other math and non math terms, such as long, tall, funny, silly, etc.

When we look at the lengths of objects, we can use terms like “longer” and “shorter” to help us compare the lengths. 

To help us compare the lengths of your names, you are going to make a name card by putting one letter in each box, and then cutting off the extra boxes you didn't need. 

Name card template attached.

Class Share

10 minutes

During this part of the lesson, students will practice comparing the lengths of their names using mathematical language appropriately. The sentence stems are there as a scaffold to help students access the academic language they need for Common Core!


"Now look at your name. Show on your fingers how many letters long your first name is."

I'll model a conversation with a student, while I will pretend to be Chrysanthemum.

My name is Chrysanthemum. What is your name?

My name is shorter/longer than your name.


Think Aloud: “I know my name is LONGER than your name because Chrysanthemum has more letters”


Partner Talk: Follow the routine, practicing the language. "Tell your partner your name and decide if your name is longer or shorter."


I'll highlight 2 students who shared and have students give thumbs up/thumbs down to determine if they are right about the longer or shorter language.

We will practice this routine a few times, focusing on how a student knew to use the term longer than or shorter than.

Independent Practice

10 minutes

Directions for independent practice: Walk around the classroom/talk to your table. Every time I say freeze, talk to a partner. Write down their name. Is their name shorter than your’s? Equal to your’s? Longer than your’s?


After students do the name activity and have multiple students in each category, they can fill out the sentence stems 

_________ is a longer name than mine.

_________ is a shorter name than mine.


See attached recording sheet.


15 minutes

We will share out a few name comparisons.

Then we will create a class chart with names categorized into number of letters. As a class, we will circle the column with the LONGEST names and the SHORTEST names.

To celebrate our learning, we will watch the animated version of Chrysanthemum. (See attached youtube link).