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6 Best Tips for How to Introduce Perimeter and Area

When it comes to third grade standards, there are a lot of them we have to teach. I often get questions about how to introduce perimeter and area. It is a challenging concept, but I love how hands-on we can make it. I wanted to share some of my favorite activities for introducing perimeter and area with you.

How to Introduce Perimeter and Area with Food

There is no kid in the world that does not enjoy playing with food. For this reason, I attempt to incorporate food into my lessons. When introducing area and perimeter, I use square crackers. You can use Cheese-Its or Wheat Thins. I give each student a bag of crackers and ask them to create shapes with a specific measurement.

This activity really helps students to relate multiplication to the concept of area and helps them see the difference between area and perimeter. If you are doing this in a small group, you can differentiate. Area figures are much easier for students to build than perimeter figures.

How to Introduce Perimeter and Area with Games

Games are lots of fun! I use them during my math centers, guided math practice, and as a review before a test. They also come in handy when you have an extra 15 minutes on a Friday. I especially like no prep games because they save ink and are quick to put together. I like to stick them into page protectors so that they can be used over and over. This area and perimeter game is a lot of fun and all you need is a deck of cards.

Another game that I bring out year after year is the Area and Perimeter Puzzle. I love that students can work through the pieces and figure out one part at a time, then at the end of the puzzle they will be able to see the relationship between area and perimeter.

How to Introduce Perimeter and Area with a Craft

My absolute favorite area and perimeter project is the Area and Perimeter Robot. I use it as a performance based assessment that will show me exactly what they know from everything we have learned at the end of the unit.

Students are given a list of measurements and they use graph paper to build a robot with those precise measurements. This project is super easy to differentiate! I give my lower level learners just the area measurements and my higher learners will get the perimeter measurements. The students love being able to express their creativity while practicing the math skill.

How to Introduce Perimeter and Area with Geoboards

My students love getting to use geoboards! They use the bands to create shapes and they can then count, add or multiply to determine the area and perimeter of the shapes. You can have students make a rectangle on their geoboard and then switch with their neighbor to solve. For students who need extension, give them a measurement and tell them to create a shape (or two) with that particular area or perimeter.

How to Introduce Perimeter and Area Playing Scoot

My students do a lot of task card scoots throughout the year. When we are studying area and perimeter, I like to mix it up a bit! I cut out pieces of wrapping paper (in a theme for the nearest holiday or season). I have the kids scoot around the room measuring the area and/or the perimeter of the wrapping paper with their ruler. There is something about wrapping paper that just ignites an extra spark in the kids and they get excited. I also play a little kids’ party music in the background to keep them excited!

How to Introduce Perimeter and Area with Interactive Notebooks

If you’ve been with me for any amount of time, you know I love interactive notebooks. If you want to read more about how I use interactive notebooks in my classroom, click here.

My students are so engaged in the activities! I love that the activities are differentiated. All of my students can be doing an activity that looks the same even though the numbers and tasks are slightly different to meet individual student needs.

Looking to find some done for you resources for how to introduce perimeter and area?

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Area and Perimeter Digital Math Escape Game

One Response

  1. I would love to see the Area and Perimeter Puzzle and Robot craft that you do! Are they available online anywhere? Thanks!

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