Carpenters' Hall

Measuring Carpenters' Nails

Skill Development

math, fine motor skills, art


The students will be able to construct a ruler and measure objects by counting inches on their ruler.

Materials (per student)

  • brass fastener
  • scissors
  • one "nail" page printed off computer
  • one "ruler" printed off computer

Pre-procedure (for teacher to complete prior to the lesson)

DO NOT cut the rulers from the printed page (the students will do this in the lesson). Punch one hole on each of the rulers in the designated areas on the printed page.


Start by showing the children a standard one-foot long ruler. Ask them to identify the object. Have them count the numbers on the ruler as the teacher holds it in the air. Discuss the uses of a ruler with regard to building large and small objects like tables, chairs, and houses.


  1. Pass out the printed and punched piece of paper with the ruler on it, along with the printed out "nail" page.
  2. Have the students cut out the two rulers.
  3. Slip the fastener into the punched holes to connect the two pieces of paper.
  4. Demonstrate to the students how to fold and unfold their rulers.
  5. Measure the first nail with the class, and have them write the number of inches underneath the nail in the space provided.
  6. Have them proceed to measure all the nails on their own.
  7. Walk around the room to check for comprehension.


Discuss with the students the uses of the different sized nails. What size nail would be used to make a chair, a table, a house, or a small stool? Answers will vary. Allow them to match objects with nail sizes. For example, ask what they could make with a two inch nail, and so on. Praise the students for their creativity and achievement.

Carpenters' Hall, 320 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Open free to the public daily, except Mondays (and Tuesdays in Jan. and Feb.), from 10am-4pm

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