The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

Grids and Figures

Third grade students have been practicing the concepts of perimeter and area by creating perimeter people this month. Each student created a block character on large grid paper, colored it in, and then calculated its perimeter. Every detail they added to their character, like drawing the football player holding a football or a crown on a princess, added complexity to their calculations. The third graders were required to count the line segments for each face of their drawing and then add up the segment lengths to find the perimeter. Then, they added up each unit within their drawing to calculate the area.

Creating perimeter people was a warmup for a larger group project focused on area and perimeter that third graders will finish during the first week of April. Each group of 2-3 students has chosen a setting for their project,  like a restaurant, soccer stadium, amusement park, or zoo. Within that setting, they must draw 8 to 10 structures on grid paper that fit their theme and then find the area and perimeter of each element. In a recent class, students worked in small groups, coloring and cutting out their elements and discussing how they would fit the overall design. The third graders' creativity in designing irregularly shaped elements, like a rollercoaster and a lazy river at an amusement park, will make their area and perimeter calculations even more challenging the second time around!
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