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A Collection of Area and Perimeter Ideas
I love to teach area and perimeter. It’s so much fun to pull out all the manipulatives, and it’s very easy for the students to see a real-life application of it. This time around, I thought I’d go a different route. I have always been very good at being resourceful, my mama says! Haha. So, I thought I’d pull together some great ideas for teaching area and perimeter. A collection of sorts for you!
I always start in my classroom with perimeter, so that’s how I’m going to start this collection! In my classroom, I like to start my perimeter and area math workshop off with the things that pique student interest more than anything… That’s right, C-A-N-D-Y! I break students up into groups and provide each group with a different sized box of candy. They measure the perimeter of the box and rotate to the next group, repeating the fun. I use types such as large and small boxes of Nerds, a pack of gum, a box of Whoppers, and so on. The students get to practice their measuring skills along with perimeter, and when they are done, I give them a mini-candy bar. I can’t help it. I like to share the candy. Of course, if you aren’t a candy person, you could easily cut out construction paper of different sizes to represent different sized chocolate bars or collect empty boxes of student interest.
This activity is found in my area and perimeter math workshop unit. You can read all about that by clicking here.
In More Time 2 Teach’s blog post about a hands-on approach, her students not only created figures on geoboards and found the perimeter but also later returned to them to find the area! They also created really neat looking pictures from graph paper.
At the blog Evil Math Wizard, students worked through a project-based activity, where they worked for a tile company having to create new tiles for an area, such as a patio, a shower, a kitchen, and so on. Students designed the tile, created a bid, and presented it to their clients.
Blair Turner had her students use stamps in her classroom to help students see the connections between arrays and tiling. They had fun while learning!
Over at What I Have Learned Teaching, my friend Jessica had her students partition rectangles in paper by folding and counting the squares. After you have worked with students on tiling area with manipulatives, this would be a great next step to work students into semi-concrete understanding.
Once students have the completed the concrete and semi-concrete portion (because we know I’m a huge fan of this methodology in math), have them create their own art gallery pictures! Here students create pictures in these mini-graph grids and determine the area of their “art.” Download this freebie to get started. This can also be found in my area and perimeter math workshop unit.
Jamie from Diary of the Not So Wimpy Teacher shared on Upper Elementary Snapshots some fun ways to practice area and perimeter. She shares how to use food, such as Cheez-Its®, as well as robot-building, games, and task cards (for a game of Scoot) to actively involve students in learning.
Mary over at Teaching with a Mountain View likes to use one of my favorite books, Spaghetti and Meatballs for All, to get students thinking about the relationship between area and perimeter. She has some ideas and activities for having students focus on both fixed area and fixed perimeter. She also has a great anchor chart! You can also find a freebie she has here.