I put together the following as an activity for a low-attaining year 8 class coming to grips with area. They’ve done area of rectangles and triangles last lesson and so I’m trying to link it to real world contexts this lesson.
The idea is they cut out the shape for which they need to find the area, they then choose a covering for it from the second sheet and cut that out too. They stick both next to each other in their book and then calculate the area and then the total cost of the covering required. I’ve kept it all per sq m to begin with. With the cans of paint they’ll need to calculate how many cans to buy given the coverage of each can. The final slabs choice requires more thought as they are a bulk-buy and not in sq m units. It’s also a compound shape.
If you have never seen www.mrbartonmaths.com then you are seriously missing out! Mr B’s website is packed full of great maths teaching resources. These include some excellent ‘follow me cards’ for area and perimeter of squares, rectangles and triangles. I took this resource and slightly changed it so that the question and answers are not adjacent to each other on the worksheets which would otherwise have given the game away before they have even started!
If you don’t know what ‘follow me’ cards are, they are simple. They are like dominoes where you have to match them together. On each card you get a question and an answer (to a question on a different card). The idea is that you match the question and answers up so that the cards form a continuous line.
Download the area and perimeter follow me cards here
How do you teach kids to remember how to calculate areas of shapes? Here’s one method…
Sing the following song to the tune of Pop Goes The Weasel:
Multiply the length by the width
Gives the area of a rectangle.
Base times height divided by two
Now gives a triangle.
Half the sum of the parallel sides
Times the distance between them.
That’s the way to calculate
The area of a trapezium.
If you start them off in year 7 regularly singing the first verse, then move them onto singing the second verse regularly in year 9 by the time they get to their exam in year 11 they’ll never forget how to calculate areas!
Here is a link to a pdf file with the song lyrics on that you can show on the interactive white board.
I can’t remember who told us of this one but a big thank you to you!