Metric Hugs

Metric Hugs lesson plan

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!

  • 1.

    How many classmates would it take to reach all the way around your school building to give it a hug? With an adult, take a quick walk around the building to see how large it is. Use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to record your estimates on paper.

  • 2.

    Perimeter is the measured length of the outer edge around an object or an area. Brainstorm ideas for measuring the perimeter around your school building. What tools could you use to find the measurement in metric units? How could you divide the task so everyone in your group can participate? Are there any edges that may be hard to measure because you don't have access to them? Make a plan to measure your school’s perimeter. Gather the materials and work together to get the metric measurement.

  • 3.

    Now it's time to measure hugs! Use a meter stick to measure the armspan (arms stretched out to the sides) of each student in your class. Can most students reach at least a meter? How many meters long is the perimeter of your school? If each hug can be about 1 meter long, how many hugs would you need to go around your school? Look back at your estimates. Erase and replace your estimates with the measurements!

  • 4.

    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? Your smaller representation of the hug is 1/100th the size of the real thing!

  • 5.

    Use Crayola Washable Markers and Multicultural Markers to draw yourself with your arms stretched out along the horizontal 10 cm line. Use Crayola Scissors to cut out your paper doll. Work with your classmates to draw and cut out enough paper dolls to make

  • 6.

    Display your dolls, connected hand-to-hand with tape, in a continuous line in your school. Create a few signs to post along the line of hugs so others know what they stand for!


  • Students predict, plan, and gather information for a metric measuring challenge.
  • Students cooperatively measure the perimeter of their school building using appropriate tools according to a plan they devise together.
  • Students create multicultural paper dolls to visually represent how many hugs would be needed to embrace their school.


  • Are there enough people in your school to really give the building a hug? Follow the same steps to find out. Make a plan for hugging your school. Think of safety and organization. Make your plan happen!
  • Plan and hold a Hug Our School event! Invite all those participating to contribute one wish for the school---peace for all who enter, sunny days, harmony among classes, even more recess! Hold poetry, song, and poster contests dedicated to expressing "hugs
  • Hug your bedroom, home, or other place, following the same steps.
  • Assessment: Evaluate student cooperation, accuracy in measurement, and diversity represented in the paper dolls.