This month, Thursday Tool School will feature measurement activities. The first activity is one of my favorites and features the use of pentominoes– five square unit two-dimensional shapes. See the image to the right for a picture of the set. Pentominoes can be used in many ways, including how they all fit together to make one large rectangle. Give that one a try! Today’s activity reinforces area and perimeter concepts.
Once students have a set of pentominoes from which to work, have them complete the activity below.
For part I, students find the perimeter of each pentomino. They are each identified by the letter their shape resembles. After students find the perimeter of each pentomino, students analyze the shapes to answer questions about their perimeters and then compare the perimeters to the fixed area.
For part II, students create a new shape by putting two shapes together. The goal is to create a new figure with the smallest possible perimeter and the largest possible perimeter. Again, students can compare how the perimeters compare to the fixed area– what attributes does the shape with the larger perimeter have that the smaller perimeter does not?
The objective for both parts is to provide students with some experiences comparing the perimeter of shapes that have the same area. Students can then begin to make conjectures about what attributes shapes with smaller perimeters have when compared to shapes with larger perimeters.
Freebie Alert! Click here for a free copy of reproducible pentominoes.
Need another cool resource to reinforce area and perimeter?