How Far Can a Frog Jump?

A Math Activity

by: Lydia Trevino focus on measurement of distances introducing the metric system at fourth grade level.

PURPOSE: This activity is designed to introduce children to the metric system, focusing mainly on length and distances. This activity will allow children the use of metic rulers and meter sticks.

Vocabulary: Materials:
  1. cotton balls
  2. paper clips
  3. metric ruler
  4. metric stick
  5. metric measuring tape
  6. masking tape


Using the story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain (1987), students will:

  1. Simulate a jumping frog contest using the cotton balls as frogs and measure distances using the measuring tools supplied.
  2. Find the total millimeters, total centimeters and total meters making a graph to see the range of the distances of each student's frog jump.
  3. Make comparisons of the distances by using a graph.


  1. Have each student make a frog from the cotton ball using the paper clip to give the cotton ball weight.
  2. Demonstrate how to place the frog on a large paper clip that has been slightly spread out. Demonstrate also, how to stand at "Starting line" marked by masking tape and flip the jumping frog. Students have one chance to jump their frogs. Each student must record their distance in millimeters, centimeters or meters on wall chart.

  3. Allow students time to practice with their "frog."

  4. Set up official starting line marking it with masking tape on a long table (setting up on the floor works as well).

  5. Observe and help students' measurements and frog jumping techniques.

  6. Each student will have an opportunity to compare their distances on the wall graph and use the measuring tools to measure millimester, centimeter and meter distances.


Send me comments