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Metric Hugs

How many students would it take to give your school a metric hug? Work together to measure the building’s perimeter and then create paper dolls---to scale---to represent a hug that embraces your learning place!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. During an investigation into the Metric System, ask students to estimate how many classmates it take to reach all the way around the school building to give it a hug. Document student estimations on a class white board using Crayola Dry-Erase Markers.
    2. Organize a class walk around the school building to see how large it is. Students use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to record their estimates, original and revised, on paper. While on the walk, ask students to identify the measure they are investigating (perimeter).
    3. Perimeter is the measured length of the outer edge around an object or an area. Ask students to brainstorm ideas for measuring the perimeter around the school building. What tools should be used to find the measurement in metric units? What unit of metric measure?How could the task be divided so everyone in the class can participate? Are there any edges that may be hard to measure because you don't have access to them? Students make a plan to measure the school’s perimeter and gather materials and work together to get the metric measurement.
    4. Students use a meter stick to measure the armspan (arms stretched out to the sides) of each student in the class. If each hug can be about 1 meter long, how many hugs are needed to go around the school? Have students look back at their estimates. Erase and replace estimates with the measurements!
    5. Create paper dolls to represent each hugging student. To save paper, do it to scale, rather than lifesize! One way to create the dolls is to draw 10 cm horizontal lines on paper for arm spans. This line can stand for the 1-meter armspan hug. How does 10 cm compare to 1 meter? The smaller representation of the hug is 1/100th the size of the real thing!
    6. Students use Crayola Washable Markers and Multicultural Markers to draw themselves with arms stretched out along the horizontal 10 cm line. Use Crayola Scissors to cut out the paper doll. Students work with classmates to draw and cut out enough paper dolls to make a hug around the building. Make each doll unique, just like the students in the school.
    7. Students display dolls, connected hand-to-hand with tape, in a continuous line in your school. Encourage students to create a few signs to post along the line of hugs so others know what they stand for!
  • Standards

    LA: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace

    MATH: Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

    MATH: Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Organize a walk around the school for students. Using graph paper, students chart and estimate the size of their school building. Take a second walk around the school building. This trip, students count the number of toe-to-toe steps necessary to make one complete trip around the building. Some students will arrive at a slightly different number of steps. Collect data and have students find the mean number of steps necessary to make one complete trip around the school building.

    Students find the mean arm span using data of arm spans collected from all students in the class. Traveling to the playground, students encircle a baseball diamond. How many students are needed to completely circle the field? Re-calculate using the mean arm span.

    Measure the arm span of all students in the class. Find the mean arm span for the class. Using this information, have students create a "ring" around the school and estimate the number of students needed to completely encircle the building. If all students in the school can participate, collect data on arm spans and calculate the average arm span for students prior to encircling the building.


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