You’ve learned area, and you’ve learned fractions by now.
But before you can go on and decorate your model dollhouse with a lovely rug or build that awesome landing pad for your RC Helicopter, you have to really understand area.
So today, you’ll use area in the real world!
What you’ll need (Materials):
- Something to measure with: for smaller things, you’ll be OK with a ruler. If you decide to try something bigger, you’ll need measuring tape, but be careful! The steel measuring tape can cut you if you pull it back too quickly.
- Paper: You’ll need scratch paper to work out the problem. Choose loose-leaf, recycled computer paper, or construction paper. Whatever you have or want to use!
- Object to measure: Try using a square or rectangle, but if you know the formula for circles and triangles, you can use those too! Some examples: rugs, tables, rooms.
- A sidekick (or two): Math is more fun with other people, so drag your brother, sister, or best friend with you!
- Gather all your materials. Pick your object carefully! Don’t try to take your sister’s carpet while she’s playing tea-time with her stuffed animals, or measure the table while your parents are setting it for dinner!
- With your sidekick, figure out what shape the object is. Write it down.
- Now that you have the shape, what is the area formula for that specific shape? If you can’t remember, we’ve put the formulas here, below.
But no peeking! Try to remember it on your own first. If you want, see if you or your sidekick gets it first!
Are you ready? Well, check your formula here.
Area of a rectangle = length x width (l x w)
Area of a square = side x side (side2)
Area of a circle = Πr2
Area of a triangle = (base x height)÷2
- Measure! Use your ruler or measuring tape to measure out the length. Write it down here.
- Example: (Rectangle)
- Side 1: 24 inches
- Side 2: 30 inches
- Substitute your measurements in the formula. If you’re working with a rectangle, look back at our formulas above. Work it out on your paper, and see if your sidekick can help you!
- 24 x 30 = 720 inches2
- Double check your work!
With your partner, think about how understanding area will help you in the real world. When would you use it?
Bonus: Ask your mom or dad when they’ve used area. Next time they need to figure out the area of a room, offer your help!