Activities to Teach Students to Compare the Area and Perimeter of Two Figures
Teaching area and perimeter to elementary or middle school students can be a challenging task for educators. However, it is a crucial skill in mathematics that assists in developing their problem-solving and analytical skills. One of the significant aspects of teaching these concepts is showing students how to compare the area and perimeter of two figures. Here are some effective activities to help students learn and understand this concept.
1. Hands-On Activity with Actual Objects
One of the best ways to teach students to compare the area and perimeter of two figures is by using actual objects that they can measure themselves. For this activity, provide students with various shapes of the same area, such as a square and a rectangle. Ask students to measure the perimeter of each shape using a ruler or measuring tape. Afterward, ask students to compare the two shapes’ perimeter and explain which one is longer or shorter. Then, repeat the process for the area of the shapes, and students can compare which shape has a larger area.
2. Using Worksheets and Diagrams
Another effective way to teach students to compare figures’ area and perimeter is by providing them with worksheets and diagrams. In this activity, provide students with worksheets of shapes with different areas and perimeters. Ask students to measure and calculate each shape’s perimeter and area, record the results, and compare them. Alternatively, provide students with diagrams of shapes with different areas and perimeters and ask them to compare and determine which shape is larger or smaller. The worksheets and diagrams can be either printed or drawn on the board.
3. Group Activities and Games
Group activities and games help students to work collaboratively to compare the area and perimeter of two figures. Start by dividing students into groups of 4-5 and giving each group a different set of shapes. Then, ask students to measure and calculate the perimeter and area of each shape and compare them with the other shapes in their group. The students can then present their findings to the rest of the class. You can incorporate games such as “Who’s the Winner?” to make the activity more fun and engaging for the students.
4. The Digital Approach
Using technology has become more popular among educators in recent times, and it provides a great advantage in teaching mathematics. Here, students can use digital tools such as GeoGebra, Desmos, or Sketchpad to compare the area and perimeter of two figures. For example, with GeoGebra, students can construct shapes of a given area and compare their perimeters. This approach provides students the opportunity to visualize more complex shapes and compare them quickly.
Teaching students to compare the area and perimeter of two figures requires hands-on activities, practice, and visual aids. Engaging them in activities such as hands-on activities with actual objects, using worksheets and diagrams, group activities and games, and the digital approach can make the learning experience enjoyable and memorable. By implementing these activities, students can attain a mastery level of comparing the area and perimeter of two figures, which can help them tackle more challenging mathematical problems in the future.