f65 Smile Metric Style - An AskERIC Lesson Plan
AskERIC Lesson Plans
Lesson Plan #: AELP-MEA0008

Smile Metric Style

An AskERIC Lesson Plan

AUTHOR: Deana Metder


Appropriate for grade 4-8


Using the metric system can be very confusing and difficult for many students. This activity enables the students to practice working with the metric system.


The students will be able to:

  1. Accurately use a metric ruler to measure length.
  2. Accurately read and record measurements taken in centimeters and millimeters.
  3. Find a sum of multiple metric measurements.
  4. Compare and order individual measurements.
  5. Use a histogram to graph their results.


Student Materials = metric ruler, crayons or markers, pencils, pa 88b per.

Teacher Materials = Chalkboard, chalk, large piece of construction paper or butcher paper, graph paper.


  1. Divide the class into groups of four.
  2. Each student will measure and record the length of each person's smile in their group.
  3. The students need to check their results against the results of the rest of the group. If there are any discrepancies the students should verify the results as a group.
  4. When an accurate measurement has been obtained for each child the results are recorded on the chalkboard as each child records them at their seat.
  5. Order all the measurements from least to greatest.
  6. Graph your results.
  7. Find the sum of all the smiles in your classroom. Don't forget the teachers, it is often the largest because the students are so involved in this activity.
  8. Create one smile out of construction paper that is the length of the of all the smiles in your room.


This lesson can be completed as one lesson or extended to several, depending on the level and ability of the class. A fun extension to this activity is to challenge other classes to measure their smiles and gather data. This data can then be compiled and totaled by class. A graph is then constructed comparing individual classes and posted in the main hall. The graph generates a lot of interest and motivates the students to measure and compare many other objects.

May 1994

These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center's Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.