Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teaching Area of Irregular Shapes Using Architecture

I love looking at architecture. There's something so therapeutic about the symmetry. 

In this exercise your goal as the educator is to get students thinking about how to take an area of an irregular shape. The shapes that you will use are extremely advanced

So the goal is not for your students to take exact areas but to develop the thought process of how to approach such a problem.

Tell your students that they need to know how much paint to buy to paint the front of this house. How can they figure out the area? Print out the picture and have them spot as many regular shapes as possible in the picture, like so

From here we could get a close approximation of the area of the front of the house if we knew the measurements. 


Mary Watson said...

I think this is a great plan in theory, however, why would anyone paint the roof?

Jeremiah Dyke said...

Good questions. They wouldn't. The focus is on calculating areas of irregular shapes and summing the combined areas. Painting is simple an arbitrary reason for calculating the area of the front of the house. You could of course say they were going to paint and put up shingles if a student were to ask

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