Parallelograms and Area: One Cut Geometric Dissection Challenges

Grade Levels
4th - 7th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
27 pages
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If you're going to teach your students about how to find the area of a parallelogram (actually, it's technically a "rhomboid," because a parallelogram could also be a rectangle....) then you're most likely going to doing something bad like "multiply the base times the height," give a couple of dumb problems and call it a day.

That's NO way to teach geometry, more or less math, or anything for that matter!

This is a collection of geometric "dissections" where students cut out rhomboids, and, using a single, straight cut, convert it into a rectangle. There are "obvious" and "non obvious," as well as copious teaching tips AND 2 homework assignments that don't look like the cruddy ones that are in your textbooks or curriculum packets. For in these activities, students come to learn the following:

• ANY side of rhomboid can be the base, and the height has to be drawn in using a right angle from the base to the "top."

• Regardless of which side you decide is the base, the area will be the same.

• Every rhomboid can be turned into a rectangle using a single, straight cut. Even the ones that look "weird."

So do something fun and interesting with your students, teach them something important!

People who liked this activity also liked to read books by Thomas Pynchon, listen to music by Tristan Perich, and admire poetry by Frank Stanford.
Total Pages
27 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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