This is a worksheet activity designed to get students thinking about the relationship between area and perimeter. They should reach the conclusion that spaces with the same area can (and often do) have different perimeters.
Students play 'architects' and try to design an enclosure for the tiger cubs at the local zoo. They are given certain information (number of tiger cubs, how much space each needs, etc.), and it is their job to build an enclosure that requires the least amount of fencing possible. On graph paper, they must come up with at least three different configurations, trying to determine which is the most practical.
I used this as an enrichment activity for my more advanced students who quickly became bored with calculating the area and perimeter of individual rectangles. I later made it available on my classroom 'challenge board' for other students to try, and my on-grade-level students were able to do it as well, though only once they had had a lot of practice with the basics.