What's in a Name?

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SWBAT order three lengths from shortest to longest.

Big Idea

Students love to work with each other's names! In this lesson, students put their names in order from shortest to longest. Then students practice putting sight words in length order.

Setting Up the Learning

8 minutes

This standard asks students to compare lengths by putting them in order. This lesson asks students to put words in order by length.


We learned yesterday about “short, shorter, and shortest” and “long, longer, and longest” and how those words help us compare lengths of different objects. Today we are going to put three objects in order, 1st, 2nd and 3rd, from SHORTEST to LONGEST.

I’ll do a quick warm up here to review er and est as comparative endings using a Clifford game.


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 put three objects in order from Shortest to Longest?

All images of Chrysanthemum are copyright Kevin Henkes!

Opening Discussion

10 minutes

Today we will be ordering three objects by length, which means we will be deciding which object goes first, second and third. Today we will be focusing on shortest to longest, which means shortest goes first and longest goes last. Tomorrow we will switch it.


To help us think about ordering, we are going to put our names in order form Shortest to Longest.


I’ll choose 3 names of students in the class and pull out their name cards.

When we put things in order, we have to ask ourselves some questions.

Guiding Questions:

-Which name is Shortest? How are you sure?

-Which name is Longest? How are you sure?

-Which name is in the middle, or in 2nd place? How are you sure?


When we order things from shortest to longest, we start with the one that is shortest. The word “Shortest” is first so we start with the shortest object first.


Guiding Questions:

-Which one goes first? Why does the shortest one go first?

-Which one goes in the middle?

-Which name goes last? Why do I put it third?


I’ll go through this process one more time with 3 different names. 

Class Share

15 minutes

Directions for the activity: You are going to work with 2 partners. You will each write down your names. Then you have to put your names in order from shortest to longest.

Students work in partner groups and have to help each other figure out how to order the names. This pushes them to be able to work in collaborative groups, a major focus of Common Core. See Connecting to Speaking and Listening Standards video for how to model this activity and how to connect it to the SL standards!


I’ll quickly model how to work on the activity sheet (See attached document!) and model how everyone will write the same name for Partner 1, the same name for Partner 2 and the same name for Partner 3.


Guiding Questions as students work in groups:

  •  Intervention: Which one is shortest? That one goes first because we are starting with the shortest when we do shortest to longest.
  • Extension questions: Which one is the longest? How many more letters does that word have than the middle word? Which word is shortest? How many fewer letters does it have than the middle word?


I'll bring students together and choose 1 group to present their names and how they put them in order.


Guiding Questions:

  • How are you sure they ordered the words correctly?
  • Which one is shortest? Why is it first?
  • How many more letters does the longest one have than the middle one?

Exit Ticket

8 minutes

Students practice ordering sight words as an exit ticket. This portion of the lesson is fairly short, but it is differentiated for students who need more support/extension.

Group A: Intervention

Students have boxes labeled shortest, middle, longest to help them remember how to order the lengths. 

Group C: Extension

Students have 5 words to order, which will show if they can apply the idea of ordering to a larger set. 


5 minutes

To conclude the day's learning, I will present 5 sight words and students will help me order them by length.