Introducing Area

In 3rd Grade your children build on their earlier work with shapes by understanding the concept of area. Students learn that area is a measurable attribute and they start their measuring using unit squares.

Talk with your children about different sized shapes. Ensure you children know what is meant by "larger area" e.g. the space taken up by a shape. Ask which is the largest or the smallest or ask which takes up most space.

Three rectangles, one wide, one tall, and one of larger area to highlight potential confusion over which is biggest

Activity Worksheets

Have your children try this worksheet worksheet icon to check their understanding of "largest" and "smallest".

Note: The two activity worksheets below required unit squares to be printed and cut out. If you have card or stiff paper then this will make manipulating these much easier.

Guide your children through the "hands-on"activity in the first of the area worksheets worksheet icon to start finding the area of 2-dimensional shapes.

Photo showing cutting out square units with scissors activity

This worksheet worksheet icon involves cutting a 12 x 1 unit square strip into lengths of 6, 4, and 3 and using the cut-up strips to make rectangles. Discuss the lengths of the sides with your children and, importantly, why the rectangles are of equal area.

Square Units

Introduce the idea of a unit of measurement. Encourage your children to move on from referring to the number of squares to referring to the number of square units. Be precise when talking about and writing area measurements. e.g. "the area is 12 square units" as opposed to just "the area is 12"

Stress the importance to your children of using units of the same size when measuring and comparing the areas of different objects. Remind them also of the importance of placing the square units without gaps or overlaps.

Two squares shown to have an area of 9 square units but both the squares and teh unit squares are of different size

Example of how measuring units should be placed with no gaps or overlaps

Work through this finding area activity worksheet worksheet icon to help your children understand more about units of measurement.

In this worksheet to find area your children will use a ruler to mark increments every centimeter and then draw square centimeters to find the area of various rectangles.

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