Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Area Adventure

Teri Grunden


Students use manipulatives (paper squares, geoboards) to figure out the area and learn that area = length x width. Students learn how to solve real-world problems involving area.


The student uses concrete and graphic models to develop procedures for solving problems related to measurement including length, weight, time, temperature, perimeter, area, volume, and angles.

The student solves real-world problems involving length, weight, perimeter, area, capacity, volume, time, temperature, and angles.

The student knows measurement concepts and can use oral and written language to communicate them..


-50 2- x 2- Construction paper squares (per group of 4)
-15 4' x 4- Construction paper squares (per group of 4)
-1 11 ¾- x 16- Piece of construction paper (per group of 4)
-Activity sheets 1, 2, 3
-1 Geoboard (per group of 4)
-4 Rubber bands (per group of 4)
-2 Sheets of large chart paper
-1 Baggie (per group of 4) to hold small and large paper squares


1. Prepare the following materials or purchase a ready-made kit from the Delta Science catalog.
2. Cut out 50 Small 2- x 2- paper squares per group of 4 students (different colors except red).
3. Cut out 15 Large 4- x 4- paper squares per group of 4 students (different colors except red).
4. 1 Red 11 ¾- x 16- piece of construction paper.
5. Copy Activity Sheets 1, 2 and 3 for each student.
6. Gather 1 geoboard and 4 rubber bands per group of 4 students.
7. Copy Activity 1 and 2 onto large chart paper.


Area Activity Objectives:
Students predict and measure the area of different surfaces using square units of measure.

Students define the vocabulary term -area-.

Students calculate the area of figures using the formula: length x width = area.

LESSON 1(Activity using large and small paper squares to figure area)

1. Introduce the lesson by asking students what they think 'area' means. Write responses on board.

2. Tape the large piece of construction paper to the board. Show the 2- x 2- and 4- x 4- paper squares to class. Ask, -Will it take more large or more small squares to cover this paper?- (answer = small)

3. Tell students they will cover the large rectangular construction piece with small and large paper squares (no overlapping, place side by side) to figure out the -area- and record all results on Activity Sheet 1.

4. Students first predict how many small, then large paper squares it will take to cover the rectangular construction piece and record on Activity Sheet 1.

5. Pass out one baggie (with 50 small and 15 large paper square construction pieces in it) and one large 11 ¾- x 16-piece of construction paper to each group of four students. Hand out Activity Sheet 1 to each student.

6. Circulate and assist students as they cover the large construction paper with small/ large squares and record results on Activity Sheet 1.

7. Regroup students after they have completed Activity Sheet 1. Hold up one small and large paper square and ask, -What uniform unit of measure did each team use to
cover the large paper?- (answer = small and large squares). Discuss the importance of using a uniform measure rather than different sizes and shapes (may have to define the word uniform).

8. Ask students how they would now define -area-. Write on board and compare with other earlier responses.

9. Point to the large rectangular construction piece hanging up and tell students that area is the surface enclosed by a line. Look at the outline of the paper and its area.

10. Using chart paper with Activity 1 written on it, go over numbers 1-8 together and record results.

11. Explain that area is a two-dimensional measurement and ask what the two dimensions are (answer = length, width).

12. Compare results of small and large paper squares.

13. Ask students if they can come up with a formula to figure out the area using length and width rather than counting all of the squares it took to cover the large piece of construction paper. List ideas on the board and tell them they will find out the during the next activity.

LESSON 2 (using geoboards to determine the area of rectangular figures)

1. Hang up chart paper with Activity 2 written on it.

2. Conduct a quick review of Lesson 1 -what is area?- and what two dimensions are needed to use to figure out area? (answer = length and width).

3. Make a rectangular shape on a geoboard with one rubber band and show students.
Ask, -How can you figure out the area of this shape?- (possible answers: count squares, length x width).

4. Look at the geoboard to see if all of the pegs or nails are uniform measurements.
Briefly discuss the need for uniform units of measure (as in Lesson 1) in regard to figuring out the area.

5. Tell students they will be making four rectangular shapes using geoboards. They will figure out the area of each shape and record answers on Activity Sheet 2.

6. Pass out one geoboard and four rubber bands to each group of four students. Distribute Activity Sheet 2 to each student.

7. Circulate and assist as students are making the shapes and figuring out the area. Reinforce the lesson by asking students, -Can different shapes have the same area?-
Have students prove the question by making a shape on the geoboard and saying its area. Then, have another student make a different shape with the same area. Discuss results with students.

8. Also question students (in groups) if they see a relationship between the length, width and area of each rectangle. This will help students with question 2 on
Activity 2.

9. Regroup all students together once groups have finished Activity 2.

10. Together, fill in the chart of Activity 2 on large chart paper. Ask again, -How can you use a rectangle’s length and width to calculate its area?- (answer = length x

11. Once students understand that length x width = area, have them complete #3 question on Activity Sheet 2 independently. Insist that students draw a picture of the rectangle on the bottom of Activity Sheet 2.

12. Write on chart paper that area = length x width to remind students of the formula.

13. Next, tell students they will practice finding the area of objects and independently complete Activity Sheet 3.

14. Pass out Activity Sheet 3 to all students. Let students use geoboards or paper squares, if needed, to complete this worksheet.


Observe students working cooperatively together as a formative assessment. The teacher should observe behaviors such as taking turns, sharing items, working together, not arguing, etc.

Use Activity Sheet 1 and 2 as an assessment.

Use Activity Sheet 3 as an assessment to make sure students can solve real-world problems involving area.


Modifications for handicapped children with limited use of hands can work with a partner and give verbal feedback. Activity 3 Sheet can be done independently on a computer.

Web Links

Additional lesson plan to use as a supplement for Area Adventure.

Web supplement for Area Adventure
Math on Your Lap Quilt

Attached Files

Teri Grunden's "Area Adventure" Activity Sheets 1, 2 and 3.     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.