Register Now

Area and perimeter

Compiled By: Mrs. G

These are activities to help teach the concept of area and perimeter.

perimeter/area lesson
Posted by: wendy

This is a lesson I do! Have the students trace their hand, open or closed or both, on a piece of graph paper. To find the area, they would need to count the squares inside the outline. There will be many whole squares they can count, but there will also be halfs and fourths they will need to put together to make a "whole". Then they use a piece of string or yarn to measure the outline of their hand. Using a ruler, they measure the amount of string that was needed to go around the perimeter. In one lesson they will find both area and perimeter! They will have fun! And instead of their hand, you could have them measure their foot too!

Perimeter and Area Song
Posted by: Katie

I teach a lot of math concepts with songs.

Here's one that my roommate and I came up with last year. It's to the tune of Jingle Bells

Perimeter, perimeter
Goes around and round
Add up all the sides and then you write your answer down

Area, area
throughtout the whole middle
For rectanges, it's base times height
And your answer will always be right

** It really helps if you have moves to go along with it.

Perimeter Project
Posted by: Danielle

I teach 5th grade and we make houses out of graham crackers and use brownies as the base (soil). I give the students measurements for the perimeter of the home and they even fence in yards with pretzel sticks. They also measure and claculate area. We start with blueprints on graph paper first. I teach perimeter and area first with measurement of objects in classroom (desk, math book, etc.) The houses always come out great and the kids get very into it. THey label all area and perimeter on popsicle sticks and stick them into the brownie next to the house, yard, and even pools made out of jello! This is a lot of work and messy, but it really gets the kids involved in real world application of area and perimeter! Hope it helps.

area and perimeter
Posted by: Rebecca

I teach third grade and this is just a simple activity that I do with my kids when we are starting on this in math. I tape off various sizes of rectangles onto the floor. I call students up and first have them to stand ON the tape around the rectangles. We count to see how many kids it takes to go all the way around. We discuss perimeter and practice the concept with our rulers in inches. Then for my area lesson, we mark off rectangles once more but I mark it off inside the rectangle into boxes(3X3,4X5, etc.)and have students stand in each box inside the rectangle. We count to see how many it took to cover the rectangle. Then we discuss area and practice with rulers. This is very simple but it helps my third graders "see" what is happening.

perimeter lesson
Posted by: LA3

Do you have geoboards at your school? I have a class set and use them to introduce perimeter. AFter I give them the definition and tell them that one peg to another in one unit, I model a shape on the board for them to copy. They count the units to find the perimeter. Then when they get the hang of it, I tell them to make a shape with a given perimeter and they hold up their boards to show me. They love using the boards. I also do a similar when I teach area. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Posted by: karen

I tell my students that we are going to walk around our pasture fences (perimeter) with a bucket. Everytime we get to a corner we put the amount in the bucket and when we have checked our whole pasture fence, we add up what we have in our bucket. Children in our rural area catch on to this pretty quickly.

Area fun
Posted by: AussieBird

I think I first read about this fun activity on a teachers' forum.

First, do class work on estimating and then calculating the areas of items of regular shape on grid paper. Dice and grid games (see sample attached) are great for this.

Bigfoot lives !

After these preliminary activities, provide a squared centimeter paper grid for each student. Have students trace an outline of their bare foot on the centimeter paper with a partner's help. Students then count up the full squares and the part squares (I add up all the part squares and divide these by 2 and then add this total to the total of the whole squares.).Record the final total as squared centimeters on the foot outlines, along with the student's name.

To make the activity really engaging, first prepare a class chart with 4 columns for the kids to fill in progressively: their name, their estimate of the area of their foot, the actual area of their foot and their guess of which student will have the 'biggest' foot. The kids love guessing who will be the class bigfoot.

Finally, create a bulletin board with the chart, the kids' footprints trailing behind a picture of Bigfoot himself with the face part missing. Ask permission for this - put a picture of the face of the child in the class with the biggest foot in place of Bigfoot's.

[Log In To See Attachments]

Taping off shapes
Posted by: kmob

A second grade teacher in my school tapes off shapes all over the room. They start with meauring the perimeter. Then the next day she fills in the shapes with tissue paper, and they talk about area (they invite their 5th grade buddies to help with this). Then they have the visualize of the outline and the whole things colored in.

View Thread
Area activity
Posted by: jeanmarie

I have them begin with tracing various shapes on cm graph paper and then count and number the squares contained within the drawing. When I am sure they understand what we mean by area, rather than perimeter, then we can explore how formulas are used to save us time. I have also had students draw a shape, and then use a ruler to draw a cm grid over the top and then count the squares. When we count the squares, we number them and record it right inside that square. We have to put smaller pieces together as best we can to make complete squares. They really do get pretty good at it. When they have had to count all of the cm squares in a fairly large square or rectangle, using the formula becomes a helpful and time-saving tool. I also have them create triangles by cutting rectangles and squares in half so they see how the area of a triangle is half of its rectangle. I think my students who truly understand that area is the number of little squares retain it better. I have seen them divide a shape into 1 cm squares and then count them if they couldn't figure the area of some strange polygon by using a formula. They get it almost perfectly although it takes a lot longer and they have to use a ruler to draw straight lines. I've used geoboards, but it's hard to keep track of all of the squares contained within the shape without writing on them so I prefer graph paper. Hope this helps.

View Thread
Also fun for surface area
Posted by: Jump4Joy

Our math coach did a great lesson with my 5th graders on surface area. They already understood area and perimeter, so this was the last big lesson. She brought in about 10 big boxes, sealed and labeled. One was labeled, "Wii" another "PS3" another "APPLE Laptop" etc. and these got their attention fast!! Then, she said they had to find the surface areas for each box that their group received because it needed to be wrapped and mailed. The kids loved it. I think the realia and the use of popular kids games attracted them more than anything. They made a chart of all the boxes and their surface areas.
It's really important to give them hands-on applications so that the formulas begin to make more sense and they are more user-friendly.

View Thread
Area and Perimeter
Posted by: scotiateacher

I have students design a pen for my chocolate lab Kiwi. They use centimeter paper to design a run using 48 meters of fencing. Below their design they calculate area and perimeter and explain design.

View Thread
Designing Dream House and Swimming Pool
Posted by: shantina

I had the kids build their dream house using graph paper. It was really cool to see what rooms they included in their plans. I even had one student include a science lab and a money room! Then they had to find the perimeter and the area of each room. If they got the perimeter and the area of the room correct then their application for moving into the math "neighborhood" was approved. I also had then design a swimming pool for homework using graph paper. They also had to find the perimeter and the area for the pool. We also included capacity with this lesson.

View Thread
cheese its
Posted by: vateach

I made shapes that my kids measure with cheese-its to find the area and perimeter. They think it is pretty fun. Use reduced fat cheese its, the real ones are too oily. I can't find the file at home, but I'll see if I have an electronic copy at school.

View Thread
Posted by: AmyH

Perimeter, perimeter goes round and round - add up all the sides and write your answer down (yo)
-- We added the little "yo" at the end to really make it a little rap.. The kids LOVE this - remember it - and can apply it -- after teaching it, I have never heard "what is perimeter??"
I also 2nd the cheez-its or use crackers for area... some kids will call me over and say is area counting the crackers? So they really remember these hands-on concrete experiences...

View Thread
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All
Posted by: jorgefuriouso

is a great picture book that reinforces the perimeter idea. Search online for related activities.

View Thread
No title
Posted by: kristen_teach

We do a "lab" with inch tile squares. They start with 1 tile and find the perimeter (4 in.) and area (1 square inch). Then, they have 2 tiles in a 1X2 rectangle and find the perimeter and area. Then, they have 3 tiles in a 1X3 rectange and find the perimeter and area. They look for a pattern. Then, they make a hypothesis about what would happen if they did it with 2 inch wide rectangles, test it, and record the results. We graph this and so it also goes along with our graphing standards.

We also give them a certain perimeter 20 inches and they use inch tiles to find the different rectangles that can be made with this perimeter and find the area of each.

When I taught 6th, I did a design your bedroom unit on graph paper. One of the parts was to figure out how much carpet/tile they needed (area) and one part was to figure out how much border you would need (perimeter).

I have also given the home assignment of measuring the perimeter of actual room, drawing it out on graph paper. They then had to find the area of their room. We used this assignment to practice converting from inches to feet to yards. We also talked about the relationship between the perimeter and area in inches versus the perimeter and area in feet. I would not do this assignment with students younger than 6th though.

Hope this helps!

View Thread
A & P
Posted by: teachnkids

I love teaching this and especially to older grades. I'm not sure what grade you teach, but when I taught 5th I used this so I would think you could use it in 4th and up to 8th.

I gave a layout of a house plan I drew up. Just a plan with rooms. They had to find the area and perimeter of each room to decorate. Then I got old wallpaper books and carpet/floor samples. They used these to choose the materials they would like to use and then "ordered" correct amounts based on their A & P measurements. Allowed for real application of skill and brought in some real creativity. If local businesses won't donate sample books and products they can always get sample pictures online from a variety of home improvement stores.

(this was done with a partner)

View Thread
Area and Perimeter
Posted by: eloise

We have a rug for whole-meeting areas and I have asked my students from the beginning of the year to sit on the perimeter of the carpet (when we want to sit in a circle) or sit in the area of the carpet (for when they are in rows to look at me in the front). By the time we got to perimeter and area in math, they had a good understanding of it because they had physically demonstrated it so many times.

View Thread
Candy Bars
Posted by: Emily4th

I just did an activity last week. I picked up a bunch of different candy bars, and had students measure and figure our area and perimeter of each. We even did circumference with Reeces cups.

View Thread
kinesthetic help for which is which...
Posted by: mathtastic

This will probably sound really weird-but I teach 6th grade and work with a lot of ADHD and Learning Disordered kids and they have short attention spans and need odd activities to hold their attention and to stick in their brains!

I got so frustrated that my students kept having troubling remembering which is area and which is perimeter-they knew the formulas but would mix the words up...anyway-I decided to do a kinesthetic activity to put in our math scrapbooks to help sort it out. I cut some sheets of cardstock into rectangles and hole-punched around the edges, then we stitched pink yarn through the holes- around the edges. I went through a bunch of old fashion magazines and cut out sections of models' hair. I cut the "hair swatches" into 1 inch squares and in class the students used gluesticks and filled the AREA with "HAIR-ea". Oh yeah, and the P-ink yarn was to remember P-erimeter.

I know it's weird-and yes, I have too much time on my hands (also-small class sizes allow me to do prep-work more easily!) The Pink yarn was great because I have mostly boys and they complained about having to use a "girl color" so the excruciating experience of sewing AND using pink made the association all the stronger.

Also-to help them remember to square their answers to Area problems- we all chant : "When finding the Area, don't forget to Square-e-a!"

No one has mixed them up since the activity!

I am always trying to think of ways to create memories and experiences, make art, build things, tell stories to teach the concepts...because the textbook and the pacing guides, and other provided resources don't work too well with my kids.

If anyone has any creative math activities to share...I'm all ears!

View Thread
No title
Posted by: NCteacher

:p We build a "principal pen"....we have a very laid back principal. He measures off a section of floor in the hallway near the office (conveniently covered in 12 inch square tiles!) and tells the kids that if they can "build" a pen that matches his given perimeter, they can put him in it. He tells us to build a principal pen that is 124 feet or something, then we get out the calculators and figure out what shape it will be and the length of each side- then we go to the hallway and mark it out with tape. Then I get a big ol' length of bulletin board paper and the kids line up around the "pen" and hold up the paper. They call the principal over and he acts all disgusted with them and gets right in! He stays there for a minute or two talking some trash with my kids...."I never thought you would do this to me!" kind of stuff. They ADORE it! With the 12 inch square tiles, it makes marking the perimeter out really easy- and it allows a class discussion on whether or not we should use rulers, yard sticks, measuring tapes, etc. to measure- usually one of the kids will say, "Hey! I know- let's use the floor tiles!" Hope this helps!

View Thread