Length is the biggest distance from one end of an object to the other.

In this lesson we are comparing objects to see which is the longest and shortest.

In the first example below, we have a tortoise and a snake.

When teaching comparing length, it can help to make sure that the two objects are lined up to start at the same place. This makes it much easier to visualise and understand this concept if it is new.

The snake’s length is bigger than the tortoise’s length since it is bigger from one end to the other.

We say that the snake is **long** compared to the tortoise. Or we say that the snake is **longer**.

We say that the tortoise is **short** compared to the snake.

We can say that the tortoise is **shorter** than the snake.

Remember that both long and short are comparative words. Whilst the snake is **long** compared to the tortoise, the snake can still be short compared to something longer.

Here is an example of comparing the lengths of three animals.

Remember that to compare their lengths, it is easiest to line the objects up first.

We can see that the horse is **long** compared to both the dog and the tortoise.

If something is longer than everything else, we say it is the **longest**.

The horse is the **longest** animal.

If something is shorter than everything else, we say it is the **shortest**.

The tortoise is the **shortest** animal.

The concept of height is very similar to length. Height is the length of an object upwards, its total distance from the ground up.

In the example of comparing heights below, we have a tree and a flower.

Just like with length, the object with the smallest distance is called short.

The flower has a smaller height compared to the tree and so it is short.

The tree is long compared to the flower, however we use the word **tall** instead of **long** when talking about height.

In the example below, we have 5 plants that we will compare the heights of.

This plant is shorter than all of the others and so, it is the **shortest**.

The stalk on the right is taller than all of the other plants and so it is the **tallest**.

In the example problem below, we are asked to find the longest and shortest animals.

The whale is long compared to every other animal and so, it is the **longest**.

The mouse is short compared to every other animal and so, it is the shortest.

In the example below, we are comparing heights to find the shortest and tallest plants.

The tree on the left is taller than all of the other plants and so it is the tallest.

The plant on the right is short compared to every other plant and so, it is the shortest.