Return to Mathematics IndexHow To Measure Area

Levi Johnson James Otis

525 N. Armour

Chicago IL

(773) 534-6576Objective:

The seventh graders will demonstrate an understanding of square units.Materials Needed:

twelve inch rulers, floor space in the room at least 4 feet by 12 feet,

rectangular objectsStrategy:

Have an individual demonstrate the amount of space covered on the floor in one

square foot. The student will take four twelve inch rulers placing them tip to

tip to form a square. The measured space is a square foot. Ask the class how

many individuals can stand in the square foot region. They will immediately

discover the answer.

Now designate a larger square region of the floor. Ask the class to determine

the number of students required to fill the space (i.e., by standing within it).

Have the students make connecting squares within the region. They continue to

make squares with one foot sides until each person has his or her own square.

At this point they have proved for themselves the answer to the above question.

Additional application is needed to get a full and thorough insight into area.

Give each student several surfaces to measure the area of. The teacher should

determine the particular units to use. In my own lessons, measurements are done

using either the English or metric system. Whenever a student arrives at the

probable answer, he or she comes to me and asks for a piece of drywall tape the

exact size required to cover the area. It should be noted that the teacher may

use any kind of material suitable for covering the surface. Some of these

activities can be done as individual or group projects. When the activity is

complete students will have valid evidence of the concept of area.

Performance Assessment:

Any student who gets the correct measurement of the area of all the objects,

solves the problem mathematically, and is able to explain in writing what

went on receives a grade of A. A grade of B will be earned by students who know

the mathematics and can almost fully explain what took place in written form or

words. A grade of C will be earned by those who measure accurately, can do

most but not all of the mathematics and can give reasonable explanations about

what took place. Anyone else will have to repeat the exercise.

Performance Assessment:

Students will each measure several smaller items to find the area in square

inches. As they complete measurements, they come to me to request that many

square inches of drywall tape. Then they will cut the material into one inch

squares to place on the object. If their measurements and mathematics are

correct, and they cut the paper right, they should not be under nor over in

the amount of tape.Conclusion:

After following these directions and procedures to arrive at an answer, students

should have discovered a good deal about area.