In this activity, students use tangrams to explore perimeter and area of shapes. The activity is divided into steps to guide students through the different sections of the discovery activity.
Students begin with a review of formulas. The teacher may need to provide these formulas for students before they can continue. Next, students will measure and record the side lengths of each tangram shape. Next, they have to calculate the area and perimeter of each individual shape; all of this information goes into a table for easy organization.
Once students have recorded the area and perimeter of each individual shape, they must fit all the shapes together to make one large rectangle. Then, they will find the area and perimeter of this rectangle.
To conclude, the students will reflect on the totals that they found. They should notice that the area for the individual shapes and the completed rectangle are equivalent, while the perimeter is different. The handout guides the students to ask the question, "Why?"
This exploratory activity allows the student to practice operations with fractions, solve area and perimeter problems, and self assess.