Teaching Perimeter and Area with The Magic Pentomino

I just did this as my science lesson with the third grade classes this week and they really seemed to enjoy it.  If you need a measurement science or math activity, hopefully it will work for you too.

Introduce perimeter and area.
Perimeter = the outside edge
Area = the area inside
I like to draw a dinosaur for perimeter and a rug for area to help the kiddos remember. I'm a complete visual learner and a lot of my kiddos are too. A dinosaur for perimeter you ask? I tell the kids (while drawing a super ugly t-rex and occasionally bending my arms into a t-rex-like stance and snapping my jaws) that in Jurassic Park they say "SECURE THE PERIMETER" which means to electrify the fences to keep those dinos in. This might be a completely unrelated way to remember perimeter, but it works for me so hopefully it will work for some of them. It also gives me the opportunity to bend my arms in a funny way and snap my jaws like a shark.  :)
After you have all acted like t-rexes, tell the kiddos they will find the area and perimeter of each pentomino, searching for the MAGIC pentomino that is unlike the rest.  There is only one.  Here's what my kiddos' science notebooks liked like during the activity.
Which pentomino is magic?  This little baby!  It has an area of 5 and a perimeter of 10!


  1. Love the Jurassic Park connection - you should totally post a video of yourself acting like a T-Rex, that I would like to see. Thanks for this idea - I love it!


  2. I'm so glad you posted this idea! I just taught area and perimeter and I want to give my kids extra practice without dishing out any more worksheets. My class will love this!

    Hooty's Homeroom

  3. Cute!! I am your newest follower!! Love your logo name by the way!


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