You’ve probably already noticed that area and perimeter are boring subjects for some of your learners, but you can’t just skip over them in light of this. So, we’re here to help you spice up your lessons by equipping you with 25 hands-on activities for your middle schoolers to enjoy. Whether they enjoy thrilling builds or quiet word search activities, we have something to suit everyone’s preferences! Get reading to discover a wealth of exciting ideas that will help your pupils wrap their heads around area and perimeter in no time!
1. Build a City Stem Activity
This STEM activity is perfect for teaching your kids about perimeter and area. Your students will create their own city with just paper, markers, and glue. This hands-on activity will allow them to apply their knowledge to real-life scenarios as if they were architects!
Learn More: Teach Beside Me
2. Ribbon Squares
This ribbon squares mental problem is an excellent lesson idea to get your students up and moving while teaching about area and perimeter. Start by explaining the scenario: a group of students are positioned around a square swimming pool- holding ribbons that extend over the pool and are held by someone else on the other side. They are working together to make their ribbons form squares. Once your students grasp the concept, challenge them to consider a few questions: What is the biggest possible square that can be made? How many different-sized squares could be made? This is a great method to combine perimeter and area with general problem-solving and visualization skills.
Learn More: Nrich Maths
3. Brush Loads
This is another great modeling method that can be used to teach area and perimeter to your kiddos. Simply have them consider how much paint, or how many “brush loads”, would be needed to paint the outward-facing sides of a number of cubes.
Learn More: Nrich Maths
4. Make A Kite
Creating kites is a fun exercise for teaching area and perimeter. Lead your students in making kites that combine different shapes. Along the way, challenge them to measure the perimeter and area of each of the components that they’ve used.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
5. Island Conquer
Island Conquer is a fun activity that challenges your students to display their knowledge of area and perimeter. To do so, they’ll need to create maps of islands by plotting coordinates assigned to them by chance. Then, they’ll need to calculate the area and perimeter of all their islands. The player with the greatest area wins!
Learn More: Laura Candler
6. Reorganize a House
Invite your middle schoolers to apply their knowledge of area and perimeter by reorganizing a house on graph paper! This real-life application will also emphasize to your students that area and perimeter are essential for daily tasks, such as moving around furniture or adding new items to their home!
Learn More: The Owl Teacher
7. Escape Room
This interactive learning activity will get your middle schoolers moving around the classroom to collaborate in teams to solve each area and perimeter problem. Get them to solve the clues by applying their knowledge to escape from a locked room.
Learn More: Twinkl
8. Build a Tiny House
Like building a city, have your students apply their area and perimeter knowledge by designing a tiny house. They must measure the area of each asset that they place inside and ensure that they have enough space for everything.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
19. Square and Rectangle Art
If you want a unique math activity, have your students use rulers and grid paper to create art from squares and rectangles! Give them rulers to make perfect shapes and further cement their understanding of the concept of perimeter.
Learn More: The Teacher Studio
10. Post-It Notes Area and Perimeter
Use colored sticky notes or colored construction paper to create shapes—and then have your students calculate the area thereof. We bet that they’ll love being able to place and rearrange the sticky notes to model different situations.
Learn More: Jillian Starr Teaching
11. Area Dice Game
“Conquer the Area” is a simple but clever game that your learners are sure to enjoy. Get the players to take turns rolling two dice and drawing rectangles or squares on graph paper using the numbers they’ve rolled as the dimensions. At the end of the game, the student with the most area covered wins!
Learn More: I Heart Teaching Elementary
12. Surface Area of Rectangular Prisms
Teach your students about the surface area of rectangular prisms with these printable task cards! All the advanced work is done for you here—you simply need to distribute the cards and encourage your students to work through the problems!
Learn More: To The Square Inch
13. Surface Areas of Prisms
The tactile approach of creating paper rectangular prism nets is a helpful way to make lessons on area more memorable. Depending on your students’ level of understanding, they can create and measure the nets themselves, or work on measuring the area of premade nets. Later, you can extend this activity to teach about volume!
Learn More: 7th Grade Math Teacher Extraordinaire
14. Garden Planning Activity
Cultivate your kids’ minds through garden planning! Task your students with drafting gardens on grid paper to explore the area and perimeter of various plant beds. They’ll learn the geometry of garden design and see the practical applications of this mathematical concept.
Learn More: 3 Dinosaurs
15. Geometric Shape Exploration
Time for a hands-on adventure in geometry! Encourage your students to explore geometric shapes by having them make shapes on a geoboard before calculating the area and perimeter thereof.
Learn More: Twinkl
16. Cookie Cutter Measurements
Turn cookie-baking into a real-world math problem! Using a series of videos, challenge your students to use their math skills to figure out the answers to questions like how many cookies the bakers can make. This delicious twist on geometry will quickly create tangible links to the concept.
Learn More: Tap Into Teen Minds
17. Floor Tile Planning
If you have square floor tiles in your school, congratulations—you’re the proud owner of a giant geometry teaching tool! Use tape to create shapes on the floor tiles and challenge your students to find the perimeter and area of each one. As they master the concept, peel off the tape and formulate more challenging shapes!
Learn More: Love 2 Teach 2
18. Exploring Geometric Patterns
Embark on an artistic journey with geometric patterns! Have your students craft beautiful designs using colored paper cutouts before calculating the area and perimeter of them. This creative approach to geometry will not only foster a deeper understanding of the concept, but also unleash their artistic potential in new ways.
Learn More: Math Craft
19. Area Auction
Let’s host a land auction! Here, our students will bid on different-shaped sections of land and then calculate their area measurements. This dynamic activity will help you add new found excitement to the classroom; effectively merging competition with learning in an unforgettable experience.
Learn More: Amped Up Learning
20. Build a Playground
Get your kiddos to build a dream playground! They can simply create playground models whilst focusing on calculating the area and perimeter of each structure contained therein.
Learn More: Mrs. E Teaches Math
21. Area and Perimeter Puzzles
y. In terms of planning, this activity is as simple as printing out a worksheet—but the discovery process is far more engaging for your students! Simply have them solve the area and perimeter questions to fill in their crossword puzzle.
Learn More: Word Mint
22. Origami Geometry
Let’s fold our way into geometry! Teach your students to craft origami shapes and then explore the area and perimeter of each. This artistic approach to learning will help you introduce a multi-dimensional and beautiful way to understand this somewhat tricky concept.
Learn More: Fofxellent
23. Build a Geodome
How about a geodome challenge? Here, your students will build structures using toothpicks and marshmallows; focusing on calculating their surface area and perimeter as they formulate their designs.
Learn More: The Gazette
24. Outdoor Geometry Hunt
Embark on an outdoor geometry hunt to further cement your kiddos’ understanding of area and perimeter concepts! Organize a search where your students will need to find and measure objects before calculating their area and perimeter.
Learn More: I Heart Edu
25. Create a Zoo Enclosure
Let’s design a zoo! Your students will creatively plan zoo enclosures on grid paper; considering the area and perimeter needed for different animals in the process. This project will open their minds to the various real-world applications of mathematics.
Learn More: Shop Edventures