Units For Measuring Area

By 3rd grade your children will likely already have been introduced to inches, feet, centimeters, and meters as units of measurement and these units of length as are now the basis of square units for measuring area. The activity worksheets below will give "hands-on" practice with using square centimeters and square inches.

Note: Some of the 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.

Activity Worksheets

This units of measurement worksheetworksheet icon involves cutting out square inch units and using them to measure the area of rectangles and this worksheet repeats the activity with square centimeters worksheet icon.

A photo showing part of an activity worksheet being done

Use the square inches and square centimeters to measure various household shapes. Discuss with your children:

  • The importance of no overlaps or gaps between the units
  • How the same shape, measured with both units, requires many more square centimeters but that does not mean it has a bigger area. i.e. the unit of measurement is very important.
  • Any gaps or overlaps at the sides of the shape and how the smaller unit generally makes these smaller and could be said to be more precise.
A photo showing part of an activity worksheet where unit squares are measuring a rectangle

This measurement worksheet worksheet icon challenges students to find areas by counting square centimeters and further challenges them to draw shapes of a specific area.

An area of 15 square centimeters with no reference to the length of the sides

Equating rows and columns with length of sides

As illustrated below, the number of square units in each column and each row equates to the length of the rectangle’s sides. Do not assume that your children will immediately make this connection.

A rectangle with the first row and column of square units highlighted and linked to the height and width

This activity worksheet worksheet icon will help your children make the important connection between the number of units and the lengths of the sides. Discuss whether you can find the area using the number of rows and number of columns. Your children may be able to visualize the missing parts and count all the squares or they may start to see how addition or multiplication can be used.

Note: You may wish to reuse the unit squares that were printed and cut out for an earlier worksheet.