Perimeter and Area Problems--Cooperation Time! - The Teacher Studio: Learning, Thinking, Creating

Perimeter and Area Problems--Cooperation Time!

Today I wanted to see how well my students were internalizing our perimeter and area explorations, so I gave them a cooperative task to complete.  The timing was perfect as I was missing 5 students for early spring break starters--so it seemed like a great plan for a Friday before break!

Here's the task...students were in teams of 5 or 6 and had to use the grid paper to find a shape with an area of exactly 24 square units--and with EACH team member having a different perimeter.

Huddle time!  They got to work immediately!

They drew...and counted...and erased...and drew...and checked...they had to use a LOT of mathematical language when communicating with each and explaining their ideas.

One team decided to get tiles to model before they drew...they each grabbed 24 and made sure they had different shapes.  Pretty efficient, wouldn't you say?

Some students needed some coaching on how to "track" their perimeters when they made more complex designs.

Once all members of a team agreed that they had met the challenge--time to color, cut, and fill out a name plate.  On their name plate, there was a place for the mathematician's name, the area, and the perimeter.  We checked to make sure they were correct and that they used the proper labels.

Ta da!  They LOVED the project--and it was 30 minutes start to finish!  It was a great way to apply the strategies and concepts we have worked on over the last few days. 

UPDATE:  I've had SO many requests for perimeter and area activities, so I have put five of my favorites together here!  I hope you enjoy them.


  1. Love these posts. I'm teaching area and perimeter now too.

  2. did you use a rubric for this?

  3. I thoroughly love this project. Three follow-up questions: 1) How many students could you have in your team (before this puzzle became impossible)...
    2) Everyone draw a shape with perimeter 24 - everyone with a different area. 3) Everyone draw a shape with perimeter 21 - everyone with a different area. (This is impossible - give this task with a straight face.)


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