A Clever Way To Understand AREA

The idea behind AREA is a basic concept that most students, and even adults, don’t understand.  Most people know to label area with square units such as 30 square feet.  But WHY?

The area of a shape or room is simply describing how many actual squares (measured by feet, meters, or another unit) that fit inside the shape.  Most students learn that area is what’s “inside the shape” but they don’t connect it with the physical squares it takes to fill it up.

For example, if a living room measures 10ft by 12ft, the area is 120 sq ft. That means 120 squares that are a foot by a foot would fit inside like a PUZZLE. 

Here is a great way to start piecing together a PUZZLE that demonstrates the foundation of AREA!

These foam pieces connect to make a rectangle measuring 2 pieces by 3 pieces.  It’s area is 6 sq. pieces. Meaning, to fill the shape it would take 6 squares, which can be easily observed.

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Here is another example using foam mats. This rectangle is measuring 3 pieces by 4 pieces giving it’s area 12 sq. pieces.  Have your child count the actual squares connected, which should come to 12!

Look for other examples of area using squares!

© MathMom.org

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