Hands Around the World

Hands Around the World lesson plan

Use measurement and problem-solving skills to determine how many children (holding hands) could reach around the world.

  • 1.

    On the playground or in a large room, measure a line 50 yards (or meters) long with a tape measure. Count how many children, holding hands, are needed to reach across 50 yards.

  • 2.

    With a partner, choose a destination on another continent. Find out how far it is from where you live. Calculate how many children it would take to reach there.

  • 3.

    Then determine the number of children it would take, holding hands, to reach around the world. Use a calculator if necessary.

  • 4.

    On a large sheet of construction paper, use Crayola® Markers and Crayons to illustrate how you solved either one of the problems. Present your solution to the class. How many different solutions were discovered? How much variation is there in the answers?


  • Children use their math skills to decide how to approach a hypothetical problem.
  • Children determine when and how to break a problem into simpler parts, and solve it in one or more ways.
  • Children create a visual representation of one way they solved the mathematical problem.


  • Estimate answers before calculating them. Make a chart of estimates and findings.
  • Use Crayola Multicultural Paint to create a large mural to show the solutions.
  • Provide manipulatives, such as clothespins and building blocks, for children with emerging math skills to work out similar but less challenging problems. Ask questions to assist children in breaking problems down into solvable parts.