Teaching Area, Scale and Percentages by Designing a New School

Thanks to Scott @ mytopten.com.au for this

Here's a quick idea for you to use when teaching children (especially upper 5/6s) how to work out area. I have the example that we are currently using above.

Firstly you will need to explain that the students will be working on designing a new school and as part of this they will need to work out the area of particular items such as playground, buildings, etc. Secondly, I would revisit basic area and the processes to work out area to the children. I can recommend a good site that will assist with this here:

BGFL -Perimeter and Area

After this you will need to take a couple of days working through the process of working out the area of different shaped objects. We can do this by looking at how to work out the area of a triangle and the area of a circle.

Here are another couple of good sites:

Mrs Glossers Math Goodies



Once you have finished teaching the general rules for working out area, it will be time for the children to start looking at the dimensions of the land that they have to deal with and what will be the percentage of land to allocate to each of the items on the list.

Allow the children to work out the area of the land by using the L X W Rule. Then have them to work out the percentages of the land by dividing the whole area by 100 and then multiplying it by the relevant percentage (i.e 30 for 30%).

Once the children have completed all of their calculations, have them think about the area of one square on the page. This will then allow them to work out how many squares will go into the 30% of land by dividing the 30% of land figure by the area of 1 square. The children will then be able to allocate the area on the image above.

The task allows for great exploration and should only be used for years 5/6/7.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment and I will do the best to answer your query.