How Many Steps?

Curriculum Measurement and Counting

2.2: Demonstrate a willingness to try new experiences and to adapt to new situations (SRWB)

16.2: Investigate strategies and materials used when measuring with non-standard units of measure (DLMB)


Students quantify distance by walking along a pathway from one location to another wearing pedometers.


  • Pedometers
  • Papers
  • Pencils


  • Explain what a pedometer measures.
  • Have students predict how many steps they think it will take to get from one spot to another.


  • Students will wear the pedometer and walk the predetermined path. At the end of the walk, instruct students to pay attention to the number of steps they have walked. 
  • Lead a discussion about the students’ predictions versus the actual number of steps walk. 
    • You can graph students predictions versus the actual number of steps to visualize the comparison. 


  • Discuss why the number of steps to get from one spot to another differed among students (each student has a different length of step, even within one individual he/she could take small steps or large steps etc.) 
  • Think about how other non-standard units of measurement may be more accurate than steps.