Perimeter, area, and volume can be a difficult set of concepts to teach, but they can also be a lot of fun! In this blog post, I will be detailing five of my favorite activities for practicing and reviewing perimeter, area, and volume.
While each of these activities in and of their own will be sure to thrill your students, the power of them is repeated practice of the concepts in different ways. By showing our students problems and concepts in different ways they are able to build to mastery.
Finding the Perimeter of Floor Shapes
This is one of my very favorite strategies for introducing and practicing perimeter!
According to the TEKS students in 3rd grade should be able to find the perimeter of a polygon, including measuring the sides. This skill is then built upon in subsequent grades including using a formula to solve for the perimeter of regular shapes.
Finding the perimeter of floor shapes is the perfect way to practice this skill!
There are two ways to complete this activity.
The first is for you, the teacher, to pre-tape the shapes. I personally used masking tape, for easy removal, and taped various shapes on the floor around the room. You could also tape these figures on the walls or whiteboard, really wherever you have open space. Students then use a ruler or other measurement tool to travel around the room completing measurements and finding the measurement of each figure.
On the other hand, you could have students create the shapes. Start by giving students a few minutes to create their shapes and then proceed as before with students measuring and finding the perimeter of each shape.
If you want to offer a further challenge, before students create their shape assign them a perimeter. Students must then do the math to determine the length of the sides of their shape before creating it.
Practice with Perimeter, Area, and Volume Math Games
Throughout the unit, I like to keep the review going!
For this, I have found no better and more engaging way than using partner math games.
In order to build towards mastery, I created sets of math games, or stations, that have ten different partner games on the same set of skills. This allows students to work independently of the teacher and see the concept in as many different ways as possible. Win-win!
The math games I use are linked below.
Even in 4th grade I would make the perimeter of a polygon stations available for students to build confidence.
Another way to use these math stations is in small group or with a tutoring group. Students love the gamified review, and you will love having pre-prepared materials!
A Perimeter, Area, and Volume Scavenger Hunt
My students were always gaga for scavenger hunts! I think it was the option to get out of their seat and move around the room. Plus, it took some of the pressure off of asking for help, because they could simply approach me and ask a question without having any attention called on them, unlike a more traditional atmosphere.
There are many ways to do a scavenger hunt.
- For volume, you may set up a series of figures made of Unifix cubes and have students search and find the volume to each.
- For perimeter, you could hang different figures around the room for students to measure and solve.
- For area, you could tape off different rectangles on the floor and have students use the tiles to determine the area.
The possibilities are endless!
If you are looking for an easy scavenger hunt, I would recommend using task cards! Check out these sets.
I love using task cards for scavenger hunts, and I even cheat by having each student “hide” a card and then collect it at the end. Even less prep for me!
You could also hang the cards on a playground structure or place them in plastic eggs and hide them outside! All of these ideas add a little novelty and engage students.
Use Graph Paper
One of my students’ favorite activities for practicing perimeter and area is to use graph paper and drawing. I also love this activity, because it couldn’t be more simple!
Each student gets a piece of graph paper and is able to draw a picture of anything they desire, as long as it is school appropriate of course. The only rule is that the drawing must be complete squares only. No squares can be split between colors. To introduce this concept I should students some 8bit art. This gets their wheels turning as to all the possibilities.
Students then complete their drawings and color them in.
Once all colored in, students pick a few elements of their drawing to find the area and perimeter of. The more the better!
This activity also makes a great bulletin board display!
If you want to extend their thinking, students can also write fractions evaluating how much of the whole picture each element or color takes up. They get really into it!
Review with Cooperative Learning and a Game!
If you have read many posts from me before you know I am a big fangirl of cooperative learning. You probably also know that I think Stinky Feet is the best review game ever!
You can probably guess where I am going with this…
I LOVE to finish out perimeter, area, and volume by reviewing using Stinky Feet, and so do students! This is a game that never gets old and keeps motivation high!
Of course, you can use any review game you like, but I am a bit biased as to think this one is the best.
So Many More…
There are so many more ways to practice perimeter, area, and volume!
What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
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