## Math Story : Non-Standard Units Of Length

#### Will Cirho Make A Box?

It is Squarho’s birthday. Woohoo! Everybody is excited. “I will get a packet of cupcakes for him”, says Cirha. “I will get some fresh fruits”, says Triho. Cirho is deciding what to gift him. “Oh yes! I will gift him a pair of dumbbells. He would love them”, he says.

Cirha’s cupcakes look delicious. Triho’s fruits look tempting. Cirho’s dumbbells look great. Wow! Squarho is going to love these gifts, isn’t it? “Let us quickly pack them and meet here again”, suggests Cirha. Everybody agrees and leaves.

“I will pack these dumbbells in a nice box”, decides Cirho. He finds many small and big boxes in his house, but nothing fits the dumbbells. Some boxes are too small, and some are too big. Cirho is disappointed. What will he do now? Ding Dong! The doorbell rings. “Cirha and Triho must be back with their gifts”, he thinks.

Seeing him so disappointed, Triho comes up with a plan. “Let us make a new box quickly”, he says. Cirho is cheered up now. He immediately goes and gets some sheets to make a box. They are all set. “Alright! Where do we start now?” says Cirha.

Everybody looks at each other first, and then stare at the blank sheet. How should they make a box? What should be their first step? If you were in their place, how would you make a box?

Ding Dong! The doorbell rings again. Who is it? “Surprise! I heard it’s Squarho’s birthday and you are giving some amazing gifts. I decided to get something for him as well. Let us go and give him”, says excited Uncle Math. He is excited, but the kids are dull. What will they do now?

Cirho quickly explains his problem to Uncle Math. “No fear when I am here. I have a plan”, he says. Uncle Math starts measuring the dumbbells with his hands. He marks the same measurement on the blank sheet. “What are you doing? Is this some kind of play?” says Triho.

“I am measuring the length of dumbbells so that we can make a box that fits it well”, says Uncle Math. “Length? What is that?” asks Cirho. “Length is the distance of an object from one end to the other. Length tells us how long the object is. So the length of dumbbells is this much”, shows Uncle Math as he marks the length.

“Now we know the meaning of length. But we don’t need the meaning. We need the box”, says Cirho. Uncle Math laughs and says, “Yes. Let us measure the dumbbells using our body parts”. He opens his hands and measures using the tip of his thumb and little finger as shown. “3 handspans”, he announces.

The kids imitate a handspan and measure through it. “This is so simple! Wow! And the best part is we do not need anything extra to measure using the handspan”, says Cirha.

“How we measured using our body parts, can we also measure using some objects too?” questions Triho. He is curious as always. “Interesting question. Yes, we can measure using objects too. We use the same object to complete both the measurements”, explains Uncle Math.

Uncle Math grabs some pens and tiles in Cirho’s house. Then he measures the dumbbells using tiles first. He places the tiles one after the other in one straight line without leaving any space. “The dumbbells are 3 tiles long”, he says. Everybody is happy.

“I will measure using the pens”, says Cirha. She grabs the pens and is surprised to see that the dumbbells are 3 pens long. Awesome. They can make the box now easily.

Cirha rechecks the length of the dumbbells, Triho measures the height, and Cirho cuts the sheet with the right measurements to make the box. They did not use different measuring tools because that would have led to confusion again. Smartly, they all measured using the tiles and completed the box.

The dumbbells are now fitting well in the box. Cirha also ties a beautiful ribbon to it. “Wow! Cirho’s gift looks the best”, says Uncle
Math. Everybody agrees. Cirho is finally happy.

It is time to surprise Squarho now. “Shh! Let us be as quiet as possible”, says Triho. They secretly enter his house.

Squarho is shocked to see his friends with beautiful gifts. He loved the surprise! Who does not like surprises? Squarho also loved all the gifts. He got super excited looking at the dumbbells. “Wow! This is the best gift”, he says. Birthday, surprises, so many gifts, and good use of measurements. What a wonderful day it was!

## We Learnt That…

• Length is the distance of an object from one end to the other.
• Length tells us how long the object is.
• We can measure length using our body parts and objects.
• Handspan is a measure of distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger with the hand fully extended.

## Let’s Discuss

• Whose birthday is it?
• What gifts did we decide to give to Squarho?
• How did we make the box to pack the dumbbells?
• What is length? Explain in your own words.
• How can we measure the length of an object?