I love teaching my 3rd graders about area and perimeter! It is a challenging concept, but I love how hands-on it is. I wanted to share some of my favorite activities for practicing area and perimeter with you.
There is not a kid out there that does not enjoy playing with food. For this reason, I attempt to incorporate food into as many lessons as possible. When teaching 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.
I think that this activity really helps students to relate multiplication to the concept of area. It also helps them to see the difference between area and perimeter. If you are doing this in a small group, you can differentiate. Area figures are much easier to build than perimeter figures.
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 15 extra minutes on a Friday. I especially like no prep games because they save ink and are quick to put together. I like to slap them into page protectors so that they can be used over and over. This area and perimeter game is lots of fun and all you need is a deck of cards, a paper clip and a pencil.
You can grab this game for FREE by clicking HERE.
Another game that I bring out year after year is the Area and Perimeter Party Game.
I love that this game has some challenging irregular shape task cards! My kids just love that it is a game!
My absolute favorite area and perimeter project is the Area and Perimeter Robot. I use it as a performance based assessment. Students are given a list of measurements and they use graph paper to build a robot with those precise measurements.
This project is easy to differentiate! I give my lower kiddos just area measurements and my high kiddos get the perimeter measurements.
The students love expressing their creativity while practicing the math skill. Win! Win!
You can grab the materials and instructions for this project HERE.
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.
My students do lots 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 through the room with a ruler measuring the area and/or the perimeter of the wrapping paper.
There is something about wrapping paper that gets kids excited. It feels like a party! Especially if you play some party music while they are scooting!
You can grab a FREE recording sheet for your scoot by clicking HERE.
These centers have the same format and simple directions as the rest of my math centers and that makes it easier for my students to be independent.
I hope these ideas help you to plan some fun and engaging area and perimeter activities in your classroom!