What is Area?

Student Page

Teacher Lesson Plan


  1. To understand that area is measured in square units.
  2. To learn that the area of a rectangle can be found by counting the number of squares.
  3. To understand that perimeter is measured in linear units.
  4. To learn that the perimeter of a rectangle can be found by counting the units around the outside of the figure.


    (for each group of four students)

  1. one bucket of 1 inch square tiles
  2. one sheet of grid paper - 1 inch size
  3. four sheets of grid paper - 1 centimeter size
  4. four pencils
  5. (optional) colored pencils/pens/crayons
  6. Hands-On Math software by Ventura Educational Systems

Classroom Procedure

As a group, using the 1 inch square tiles and the 1 inch size grid paper, build a rectangle with an area of 4 square units.

Some groups may have arranged their tiles to show a 2x2 square. Others may have made a 4x1 rectangle or a 1x4 rectangle. All three of the examples are correct.

On your individal sheet of graph paper, draw the model and label it like this:

Here are nine more problems.

  1. Area = 9 square units
  2. Area = 10 square units
  3. Area = 25 square units
  4. Area = 14 square units
  5. Area = 36 square units
  6. Area = 18 square units
  7. Area = 20 square units
  8. Area = 2 square units
  9. Area = 49 square units
One student should model the problem using the tiles and the 1 inch grid paper. (Take turns being the person to make the rectangle using the squares) .

Each student should draw the answer and label A(rea) and P(erimeter) on their individual sheet of graph paper.

Lab Procedure

Open a software program called Hands-On Math by Ventura Educational Systems. Select geoboard and select the tool which displays the area and perimeter window.

Question: Is there a general rule for finding perimeter? Is there a general rule for finding area?

Use the software to test out your ideas. Be prepared to respond in a class discussion.

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