Finding area and perimeter can be a tricky skill for 3rd grade students. It’s also a vital skill that builds as students move to the next grade level. Finding ways to make math content fun for students can sometimes be a challenge! Here are some of my favorite area and perimeter math center activities that your 3rd grade students will absolutely love!
Area and Perimeter Math Centers
These farm-themed area and perimeter math centers will get students excited about learning through hands-on, collaborative activities. These activities are rigorous and engaging – making them a great resource for a farm-themed classroom transformation! Learn more about classroom transformations here.
Area and Perimeter Math Centers
Area and perimeter 3rd grade activities designed to get students excited about math centers! Each activity is hands-on, engaging, and differentiated to meet the needs of your students.
Find the Area Task Cards
This interactive activity gives students practice with recognizing area and understanding concepts of area measurement. Each task card depicts a square or rectangular figure. Students must determine the area of the figure and then “clip” one of the three answer choices listed using a clothespin.
Two sets of task cards are included to help with differentiation for students at different levels. The red set asks students to solve for the area by counting square units, while the green set asks students to solve for the area by multiplying length and width.
Build the Area Mat
Incorporating manipulatives into math centers not only boosts engagement but can also help strengthen students’ understanding of a math concept. In this case, using a manipulative such as Starbursts, Cheez-its, or square tiles to represent square units can help students more easily visualize area.
This build the area activity helps students to form a better understanding of what area is and how to represent it by using manipulatives. Students will be given a laminated farm mat to use their manipulatives on.
On their turn, students will draw a task card. The task card will have a pre-determined area (red set) or multiple choice equations for students to choose the area from (green set). Students will use the farm mat and their manipulatives to build a visual of the area. Then, they will write an equation to match their area.
True/False Area Sort
Sorting is an effective way for students to think more critically about math facts and word problems.
This true/false area sort can be used to help students associate addition and multiplication with area. Students will sort task cards into two paper bags. One bag is labeled true and the other is labeled false. For this activity, students solve the area word problem on the task card and determine if the multiplication or addition sentence represents the area of the figure. Students will record their answers on the recording sheet and will justify their answers if they chose “false”.
Find the Missing Length Task Cards
In third grade, students are required to learn how to find the length of a missing side to determine area and perimeter. These find the missing length tasks cards were designed to help students solve mathematical problems by finding the perimeter of a shape with an unknown side length.
Students will work with different types of shapes to identify the length of the missing side (red set) or to identify the length of the missing side and the perimeter (green set). They can attach their answer cards onto each task card with a velcro dot. Then, students can check their answers by scanning the QR code on each card.
Find the Area Using Distributive Property
When it comes to solving for area, abnormal shapes can sometimes overwhelm students. This distributive property find the area activity teaches students how to split L-shaped figures into separate shapes to help them find the total area.
Consider laminating and giving students an Expo marker or using pipe cleaners to help them separate the figure into two smaller shapes.
Using a Ruler to Measure the Perimeter Activity
Looking to give your students practice with using a ruler? This measure the perimeter activity asks students to solve for perimeter by measuring shapes in centimeters using a ruler.
Students will be given five barn mats with a designated perimeter (10 CM, 14 CM, 15 CM, 16 CM, and 18 CM). Groups will work together to measure shapes on task cards to determine what their perimeter is. Once they have decided, they will affix it to the correct barn mat using velcro.
Connect Four Using Area & Perimeter
Bring the competition to math centers by having students complete this fun twist on the classic game of Connect Four.
Students will work to correctly identify the area and perimeter using shapes and side lengths. Once each student has solved their problem correctly, they’ll place a game piece to cover that spot on the board. Play continues until one student has four in a row or until the entire board is filled. This area and perimeter game is perfect for differentiating your math centers!
Area and Perimeter Board Game
If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I love a good board game! Incorporating board games during math centers is one of my favorite ways to keep students entertained while also preparing them to engage with rigorous content!
This board game has students competing against each other as they attempt to solve 36 area and perimeter word problems. As students provide the correct answer, they’ll roll the die and move their piece across the game board.
Consider using this board game in your teacher-led center as a way to collect data on what areas your students may need extra support with. You can also use it as an independent center by printing the answers on the back of each task card so that students can easily self-check.
Build a Farm Using Area & Perimeter
Perhaps one of the most engaging area and perimeter math centers in this unit is the Build a Farm activity where students use area and perimeter to shop a farm catalog and design their own farm. Students will use markers or crayons to draw each space on their map according to the side lengths or area listed.
Easily differentiate this activity for students by providing them with the red farm catalog (perimeter) or the green farm catalog (area) to help students build the farm that best meets their individual learning needs.
I hope these area and perimeter math centers help give your students engaging, targeted practice on this important skill!
Need activities for teaching time and elapsed time to your students? Check out my time and elapsed time math centers resource and grab a freebie from the resource below!
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