Area and Perimeter Challenge

Gosh measurement is a hard unit to teach through online learning! I’ve had to be pretty creative with my Maths group to keep the unit engaging and it’s been hit and miss. In the classroom, we would be able to do more hands on activities with equipment and that means everything from a ruler to metre sticks and trundle wheels. The reality is that my students simply don’t have that equipment at home.

Using the online platform, we are able to ask our students to take a video of themselves measuring an object…but that’s kind of it. They just weren’t really that interested in measuring things in their home.

We explored the units of measurement related to length, completed tasks that asked them to convert units using mm, cm, m and km and some word problems to check their ability to apply a strategy to a problem.

There was one task that really captured their attention, it had a fantastic rate of engagement and it was a task that asked the students to design their own animal sanctuary and to record the area and perimeter of each exhibit. I encouraged most of the group to use rectilinear figures, while some students stuck to a mixture of 2D shapes and rectilinear figures. It was important to do this as some students ,at have spent the whole lesson designing the perfect sanctuary.

How Did My Students Respond?

This really caught my students attention and so many of them put a lot of time and effort into it. I asked them why they enjoyed it and the resounding feedback was that it was; creative, fun, the students like designing and they really didn’t seem too bothered about having to calculate the area and perimeter of each exhibit for those reasons. It reminded me how important it is to ask the students why they are engaging in a task so well and to include it in my future teaching practice. 

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3 thoughts on “Area and Perimeter Challenge

  1. Yes! Great! We must continue to nurture that spark of creativity – that slows for tinkering, exploring, considering, changing along the way etc.
    During this time of lock down I have watched kids between the ages of 7 and 10 at play – in an open nature reserve that is full of clumps of trees and bushes and great places for hiding – they are playing exactly as I played at their age – as an explorer, utilising their imaginations – creating scenes and events and imaginary physical places and spaces.
    As a teacher of 40 years experience I have always endeavoured to encourage open ended exploration and imagination – Any design project does this – and it is so rich in terms of teacher learning about student individual learning.
    Another I have found successful – give a4 square grids – that is the garage area. Design a deep ocean underwater vehicle that fits nicely within the area of the garage – birds eye view image – use only vertical horizontal and diagonal lines – corner to corner.
    Know what is the area of garage in square metres. Estimate area of vehicle then measure once completed design. Then estimate perimeter and measure in metres.
    What is difference bt area of garage and area of vehicle.
    Design a 3D sketch of your vehicle and make it out of recycled materials. Not to scale.
    Explore volume and capacity
    Explore deep see explorers – characteristics and their vehicles and math/technology involved in their work.
    Or give them a minimum and maximum.
    Nothing new under the sun – found this in a oldie but goodie reference book years ago – called Brainstrains.
    Great for all kids but designed with highly able in mind
    Thank you for sharing.


    • Thank you so much for your comment Cate! I wish I had seen this comment sooner to try out some of your suggestions, maybe I’ll try find some time to fit one of them in.
      Thanks again!


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