Activities to Teach Students the Area of Regular Polygons
Polygons are closed figures with straight sides. A regular polygon is a polygon with all sides and angles equal. Understanding the area of regular polygons can be challenging for students, but there are fun and engaging activities that can help them grasp the concept. Here are a few activities to teach students the area of regular polygons:
1. Paper Folding Activity
This is a hands-on activity that helps students understand the concept of area by folding a piece of paper to create regular polygons. To get started, give students a square piece of paper and ask them to fold it in half diagonally, then fold it again diagonally to create a smaller square. Next, ask them to fold the paper in half horizontally and vertically, creating creases that intersect at the center of the paper. Finally, ask them to cut along the creases to create four identical triangles.
Next, ask students to fold each triangle in half to create a trapezoid shape, then fold the trapezoid in half again to create a smaller triangle. Repeat this process, folding and cutting the paper until they have created an equilateral triangle. Have the students measure the length of each side of the triangle and use the formula A = 1/2BH to calculate the area of the triangle.
2. Interactive Websites
Interactive websites are a great way to teach students about the area of regular polygons. There are many websites available that offer interactive games and activities, such as Sheppard Software’s webpage or Math Playground’s Polygons page. These websites allow students to explore and interact with regular polygons, providing an engaging and interactive learning experience.
3. Hands-On Manipulatives
Hands-on manipulatives are a great way to help students visualize regular polygons and better understand the concept of area. Using manipulatives, such as pattern blocks or geoboards, students can create regular polygons and calculate their areas. They can also compare and contrast different polygons, using their understanding of the area formula to explain why some polygons have larger areas than others.
4. Pyramid Building Activity
This activity challenges students to use their understanding of the area of regular polygons to build a pyramid. To get started, students can work in small groups and are given a set of cardboard polygons of different shapes and sizes. Ask students to select one polygon to be the base of their pyramid and then build the pyramid by arranging the other polygons on top of the base.
As they build the pyramid, students must calculate the area of each polygon, helping them understand how the area of each layer contributes to the total area of the pyramid.
In conclusion, activities that use hands-on manipulation and interactive tools can help students learn and understand the area of regular polygons. With these activities, students can increase their confidence in working with regular polygons and develop a better grasp on the concept of area. By introducing regular polygons in an engaging and interactive way, students can develop a deeper understanding of math concepts and are more likely to remember and use them in the future.