Survey Questions

To view or print the questions, click on your level: Grades 4 to 8 or Grades 9 to 12

Guide to taking measurements

Before completing the online survey, students must record the measurements listed below.

Make sure they have measuring tapes available.  Also give them measurement worksheets. (See printable measurement tools.)

Set up stations in the classroom for each type of measurement, using measurement instruction signs

measuring height


How tall are you without your shoes on?
Answer to the nearest half centimetre

TIP: You could fix a tape measure to the classroom wall to help with this.

Arm span

Photo: How to measure your arm span What is your arm span? Answer to the nearest half centimetre.

Open your arms wide and measure distance across your back from tip of right hand middle finger to tip of left hand middle finger.

You can stand straight up against a blackboard or wall with your arms outstretched. Mark a dot at the tip of the middle finger of each hand and measure the distance between the dots.

Does your arm span measure the same as your height?

Photo: How to measure your forearm: elbow to wrist.Forearm: elbow to wrist

What is the length of your right forearm, from your elbow bone to your wrist bone? Answer to the nearest half centimetre.

Photo: How to measure your wrist circumference.Wrist circumference

What is your wrist circumference in millimetres?

Remember, this time we’re asking for millimetres, not centimetres!

Length of foot

adadWhat is the length of your right foot, without a shoe? Answer to the nearest half centimetre.

Use a piece of graph paper with the centimetre scale marked on it

Is your foot the same length as your forearm?
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Printable measurement tools

Measuring tapes

Make sure to provide measuring tapes for students.

As an alternative, we offer these mini measuring strips, 24 centimetres long, available in Acrobat (PDF) format.

Measurement worksheets

Students can use these worksheets to record their measurements.

Print or download them in RTF or Acrobat (PDF) format.

There are eight worksheets per page. Cut them apart and distribute them to your students.
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Why were these questions chosen?

The international questions (indicated by the globe icon) were developed by a group representing statistical educators from all participating countries.

The other questions were developed for the Canadian questionnaire by an interprovincial teacher advisory board, with advice from teachers across the country.

These are the reasons different questions were chosen:

  • to allow comparisons with questions in other countries’ surveys (date of birth, height, right or left-handedness, breakfast foods)
  • to be similar to questions in the 2006 Census (number of people in household, time taken to get to school)
  • to practise taking measurements (wrist circumference, arm span, etc.)
  • to relate to health (smoking, allergies, nutrition)
  • to relate to social issues (bullying, donations to charitable organization, environment)
  • to relate to lifestyles (electronic gadgets, time use, favourite sport, role models)
  • to engage and amuse students (measuring response time and memory).

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Previous versions of the questionnaires

The Census at School Canada questions were developed by an interprovincial teacher advisory board. Some questions are common to all participating countries, while others are unique to Canada.

Click dates to open/close links to questionnaires

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