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Understanding the Difference Between Area and Perimeter

September 23, 2020 at 12:17 PM

As part of the Girls’ School unit, ‘Travelling Around New Zealand’, the junior students have been learning about area and perimeter – area being the measurements of the space inside a shape and perimeter being the distance around the outside of a shape.

To help the girls understand how to calculate these, teacher Ms Jennifer Sheffield and her students decided to get creative and build a ‘Perimeter Town’. What started as something small, turned out to be a rather large and exciting project for the girls, as they not only put their mathematics skills to the test but also explored design and art as a concept. The students worked together adding things like a Police Station, a pet shops, a Supermarket and takeaways into their ‘community’.

The girls were motivated to build this ‘town’ and discover who had the largest and smallest buildings. To work this out, the girls were required to measure each building and make decisions on what to do with round shapes that they couldn’t measure easily. The students discovered out that they could use string to outline the circular buildings and measure the length of the string to get their answers. 

Understanding how to calculate area and perimeter is an important aspect of mathematics as it builds on the foundation for understanding other aspects of geometry, such as volume and mathematical theorems that help students to build on their understanding of algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed this exercise and walked away knowing how to successfully calculate and understand the difference between area and perimeter.

Click here to view the gallery. 

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