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A Math lesson plan on perimeter and problem solving




2, 3  

By: Kari Lyberger & Dawn Roberts

February 13, 1997

Topic: Problem solving and perimeter

Grade Level: 2- 3

Name of Activity: Perimeter with Cuisenaire rods

Materials: Cuisenaire rods, 1 cm square paper, pencils

Description of Activity:

Start the activity by asking children what they already know about

perimeter. Discuss with the class real life situations in which they

would need to use perimeter, such as measuring a fence, the outside of

buildings, and areas of land. Pass out the 1 centimeter square paper to

each student along with one red rod, two light green rods, and one purple

rod. The students are to arrange the Cuisenaire rods into a shape on the

centimeter paper. It is necessary that when the student traces around

their shape, they draw only on the black lines and their shape must remain

in one piece if it were to be cut out. (In other words, corners touching

are not allowed.) The students must find a way to arrange the rods in

order to make the smallest and largest possible perimeter. (You may want

to define the problem as “flat” to avoid 3-D shapes that represent volume

rather than perimeter.) Have them trace their shapes and count the

perimeter of each before making the next one. To add an extra challenge,

increase the number of Cuisenaire rods. You may also want to ask students

if they can find a given perimeter (“Can you make a perimeter of 20?”).

*Students can work in groups or individually.

Source:[Teaching of Mathematics K-8] by Marilyn Burns (p. 58)

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