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Afterschool Lesson Plan Database

Lesson Plan

Measurement: Measuring Hands and Feet
Subject: Math
Grade span: 2 to 5
Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Math Centers


This sample lesson is one example of how you can implement Math Centers. In this activity, students use a variety of measurement skills, tools, and strategies to find the area of their handprints and footprints.

Learning Goals:



What to Do:

  1. Use the materials provided to trace your hand and foot separately.
  2. Make a prediction of whether your hand or your foot takes up more space.
  3. Find out if your prediction is correct.

Teaching Tips:

Some students will understand length, width, and area quicker than others and may not need guidance on the use of a ruler or protractor. Be sure that students maintain the proper units of measurement as they proceed (centimeters, inches) and that all measurements for one object are taken using the same units. Students who are measuring will also need to use the formula for calculating area, or the space an object takes up (Area = Length x Width). Allow them to either come up with the formula on their own or have a conversation around what they might do with their measurements before providing it for them.

Students who are just learning these concepts may use nonstandard units of measurement, like counting the squares on the graph paper or simply guessing by comparing the size of their hands and feet. These students will need to estimate some squares in portions (halves, quarters) and will also need to keep track in some way of what has been counted. Coloring or marking counted spaces in some way will be helpful. However students decide to tackle the problem, allow them to explore on their own before stepping in to offer a suggestion.

Using Guiding Questions

As students work together, the role of the instructor is to facilitate learning by asking questions that encourage students to use what they know about math to solve the problem as opposed to simply giving them the answers. Use the sample guiding questions below or develop your own.

  • "I notice that you are counting spaces, represented by boxes on your graph paper, inside your handprints and footprints. Why might this be useful in finding out which takes up more space?"
  • "What method do you plan on using to solve the problem? What is your strategy?"
  • "Can you re-state what this question is asking you to do in your own words?"
  • "How are you keeping track of your calculations"?
  • Did you answer the question?
  • "What did you learn from the others at the center that helped you solve the problem?"

Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):

Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.