Do you have a fabulous way to get students to remember the difference between area and perimeter?
If you are like me you know all the tricks! But, if you still need some ideas, stick with this post- especially because there’s a free activity hidden in it somewhere!
Trick #1 – Word Play
I know you love to make anchor charts and if you want some ideas for area and perimeter just head to Pinterest and you will find about a bajillion just for this topic.
Here’s what I used to drill into my third graders (and still do):
- Per – RIM – eter is the distance around the rim.
- Area is like an area rug- it covers the whole area.
I wish I had an image of a great anchor chart to share with that! #pinterest
Trick #2 – Tape on the Floor
This is a hands-on or feet-on activity that my third graders loved! I used blue painter’s tape and created shapes on the tile floor. Then I would show the kids how to walk around the RIM of the shape to find the perimeter and count each edge of the square tiles.
Then we would step on every square inside the shape to find the area. I have room to make about ten of these shapes on my lab floor and the kids rotate until they have found the area and perimeter of every shape!
Exploring Area and Perimeter
We use two STEM Challenges that feature area and perimeter.
At the beginning of the first activity, students must find all of the ways to make a shape using a given perimeter. They work together to draw rectangles and label them with the perimeters. At the end of this challenge, the students design a miniature dog run. I have a whole blog post devoted to this and the design part of the challenge. It includes the photos above and below!
In the second activity, students find 10 polygons that meet certain criteria. Then they have to choose three of them and join them together to design the floor plan of a doghouse. The arrangement of the polygons has really tough design rules which include where the polygons can touch and what the final area can be. This one is really challenging, but my older students love it.
Click to see the blog post with a few more details! >>>>>>> AREA AND PERIMETER
Design a Home
This is an activity I have tried in many different ways. Basically, students take a grid sheet and draw a floor plan. They must name each room and note the area of each.
Here’s the problem- Kids dream big! They create rooms like basketball courts, roller coasters, and restaurants – inside the houses. Which is fun, but is it realistic?
So, I added some requirements to the task. There are nine required rooms and they can create up to 15 rooms. Take a look!
Each student has a data table on which to record their room measurements and area of each room. They draw the room on the grid sheet, record its dimensions, label it, and repeat until the sheet is filled. Many of them will fill the entire page, while some create tiny house plans.
They can still add those fabulous rooms like indoor pools. Notice in the above photo that the young lady has a library that is larger than a bedroom!
Here’s where the task gets really interesting! After finding all the rooms they have space for they must add to find the total area. Now, we multiply the total area by a dollar amount to find the cost of the house! I used a made up number of $252 per square unit. Most of my students end up with homes that cost from $150 to $180 thousand. They think it’s an astronomical amount.
They also have basketball courts inside a home for $165,000- which sadly, is not likely to ever happen!
It’s such a fun activity using tons of math.
(And it is available for you in two ways!)
Hey this is a great way to learn perimeter and area.
Jack Son says
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