For this activity, children will learn about perimeters by fencing in their own “farm.”
Pencils and erasers
White construction paper
Markers or Crayons
Small pictures of horses, cows, pigs, sheep, and ducks (optional)
To begin, tell the children that they are going to draw a farm on their paper. On their farms, they’ll have a horse, a cow, a pig, a sheep, and a duck. However, they’ll need to draw a fence for each animal so the animals don’t run away.
Provide them with the length available for each fence. Write the lengths on the board or overhead projector. For example, you might write:
Horse – 100 yards
Cow – 80 yards
Sheep – 60 yards
Pig – 40 yards
Duck – 20 yards
Now, the children must decide the shape of each fence utilizing the entire length given. For example, the horse might have a rectangular pasture measuring 40 yards x 10 yards. Or, it might have a square pasture measuring 25 yards on each side. Perhaps one side is 32 yards, another 15 yards, another 45 yards, and the last 8 yards. Or it could have a circular pen measuring 100 yards all the way around.
Once the child has decided upon the shape and size of the pen, they can draw it on their paper using a ruler if desired. It doesn’t need to be to scale, but the length of each side should be indicated. Instruct them to double-check the length of fencing used by adding up all of the sides, or calculating the perimeter of the shape. It should equal the original amount written on the board.
Once all of the pens have all been made, it’s time to be creative! Have the children draw or glue an animal in each one. They can then change the shapes they drew to look like actual fences. They might want to add other things to their farm as well, such as a barn, a pond, a garden, trees, the sun — even the farmer and his wife!
Math Curriculum and Math Games by Smart Tutor
Photo by Ed Yourdon
Article by Samantha Bell