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Do You Need a Fun Way for Students to Experience Perimeter, Area, or Volume?

Students built the following houses out of food items and then calculated the perimeter of them.  We did this project as a relaxing activity after testing.  I allowed students to build houses out of graham crackers, frosting, red hots, marshmallows, and Smarties.  Then they used a measurement tool to calculate the perimeter in centimeters.  If I had really wanted to use this activity to stimulate mathematical thinking, I would have had the students calculate the surface area and the volume using large marshmallows.  Since I just wanted the kids to take a fun break after testing, I didn’t have them calculate anything except the perimeter.  If I had to pick their favorite after testing activity from this week, this would have to be it!

One of the most creative houses the kids built. If you look on the napkin, you can see the perimeter calculations.

One student discovered an array with her Smartie shingles!

Measuring perimeter of the graham cracker house with a base ten rod. (each unit is a cm)