Area is defined as the amount of space inside a flat, 2-dimensional, shape. Area is calculated by multiplying length times width. In this math lesson, students will learn the definition of area and learn how to calculate the area of simple shapes.
Students will be able to define area
Students will know the formula to calculate area
Students will be able to calculate the area of squares and rectangles
Introduction to Math Lesson on Area
To introduce the lesson, place a 1 inch square piece of paper on the overhead projector. Tell students it is one inch on each side, or one square inch. Then place three more squares in a row next to it. Ask students how much of the surface the paper is covering. The amount of surface covered by the paper is the area. Explain that four inches long times one inch wide equals four square inches. Write 4 x 1 = 4 on the overhead next to the paper squares.
Then add another row of paper squares below the first one. Have students count the squares. There are eight squares, so the area is 8 square inches. Point out that there are four squares going across and two squares going down, and four times two equals eight. Write 4 x 2 = 8
Add a third row of paper squares. Ask students what the area is, and write 4 x 3 = 12, so the area is 12 square inches.
Ask students what the area would be for several more examples, without using paper squares, but just using numbers. Write the equations on the overhead. Tell students that the formula for calculating area is length times width. To find the area of any square or rectangle, they can measure the length and width and multiply them together. The formula for area is A = L x W.
Hands-on Math Activity for Learning Area
Construction paper squares and rectangles in various different sizes and of different colors. They should measure an even number of inches on each side for ease of calculation.
Divide the students into groups. Give each group a set of several paper squares and rectangles.
They will measure the sides of each one and calculate the area.
You can supply the students with a worksheet that has blanks to fill in. This will help them keep track of their data. An example of a worksheet for this activity is:
Color and Shape: _______________ (for example, blue square or yellow rectangle)
Make sure they write “square inches” for the area, and not just “inches.”
This lesson could be extended to include a lesson on perimeter, in which the students measure the length of each of the sides of the shapes and add them up.