One of the last things I did with my grade 4's in math was to talk about area and perimeter.
This was the first time some of them had ever heard of it so there was no test or too many worksheets... we just had fun with it.
Here is where I first talked about area and perimeter with my grade 4's. We watched a video of someone reading a story that we stopped often to think about how table settings could be arranged and finding out the area and perimeters of our names.
I don't recall how I came up with the idea for this math/art lesson (they questioned me this day if we were actually doing math because they were positive it seemed more like art - sneaky sneaky me). If you've seen it elsewhere on the internet I'm sure I am not the first person to ever do this!
Anyways, we had our names all done and this day we were going to figure out the area and perimeter of ourselves (kind of). We started off by each having a piece of graph paper that they were to draw themselves on (using the lines of the graph paper). I told them to not cut too many boxes in half or do too many diagonal lines because it would just make things more confusing later on when they had to count all those boxes.
I had spent sometime after school the previous day (and the morning of this lesson) cutting up construction paper into tiny squares... looking back on this I would have cut the paper into even smaller squares... they were just too big when you put a bunch of them together on a giant piece of paper.
To get them working on the project right away I told them that they were going to make themselves based on what they were wearing that day. This way they didn't have to waste all kind of time deciding if they wanted a pink or purple shirt... they were stuck with whatever colour they currently had on. Luckily, I had on a stripy dress which (I feel) took forever to lay out on the paper. But alas, rules are rules and I should probably obey my own rules.
When they had their final version done all nice and big (likely on 2 pieces of paper) they were to count all the pink, blue, white, black, etc squares that they used. They would eventually add all these numbers up together to get the area of the person they did in units squared. Then they had to add up the entire perimeter of the person... so every outside edge. They wrote that down with just units.
Here are our some of our finished masterpieces:
|Here's mine! We worked together at finding out all the numbers.|
|Someone apparently had a purple face the day of this activity (he also told me that the pointy things on top of his shoulders were his hands)|