Measuring Imprints Outside



From the Ontario Ministry of Education Kindergarten Curriculum

  • 1.10: Retell experiences, events, and familiar stories in proper sequence (e.g., orally; in new and creative ways; using drama, visual arts, non-verbal communication, and representations; in a conversation) (DLMB)
  • 16.1: select an attribute to measure (e.g., capacity), determine an appropriate non-standard unit of measure (e.g., a small margarine container), and measure and compare two or more objects (e.g., determine which of two other containers holds the most water) (DLMB)
  • 16.2: investigate strategies and materials used when measuring with non-standard units of measure (e.g., why feet used to measure length must be placed end to end with no gaps and not overlapping, and must all be the same size; why scoops used to measure water must be the same size and be filled to the top) (DLMB)
  • 28.3: develop an awareness of the ways in which people adapt to the places in which they live(e.g., children in cities may live in high-rise buildings and use sidewalks and the subway; children in the country may take the bus to school) (BC)
  • 29.1: identify similarities and differences between local environments (e.g., between a park and a pond, between a schoolyard and a field) (BC)
  • 29.2: describe what would happen if something in the local environment change (e.g., if trees in the park were cut down, if the pond dried up, if native flowers were planted in the school garden) (BC)


Introduce students to think about indents around us, in the snow, sand, mud, etc. The teacher should point out that those are impressions of our footprints or animal imprints on the ground surfaces. The teacher should encourage students to think about measurement in our everyday lives.


  • Imprint to measure 
  • Yarn 
  • Cubes 
  • Measuring tapes 



  • Have students talk about animal or human imprints 
  • Ask students what they know about imprints 
  • Ask students where they see animal imprints and what type of animal imprints they see


  • Walk around outside with students to observe animal imprints, this may be in the snow, sand, dirt or mud 
  • Once an animal imprint has been found, talk about the shape of the animal imprint, ask students what animal they think made that shape in the ground?
  • Draw student’s attention to how big the shape is and have students think about which direction the animal is going 
  • Guide students to measure the imprint – with the use of yarn and measuring tapes 
  • Have students observe the shape, note the shape, size-depth, circumference and width 
  • Make note of the size of each print


  • Ask questions that probe students to think about why the animal is walking in the deep snow
  • Ask students if they think it is easy or hard for that animal to move in the snow?
  • Where do you think the animal is going?
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