Jill can't believe it. Her older sister Jenny and older brother Jeff are at it again, arguing over who's got the better backpack and better book. But their biggest battle is over who has the best bedroom in their new house. To measure the area of their windows, they use sheets of paper. Yet even though their windows are different shapes, they both need the same number of sheets—12—to cover the glass. Their windows have the exact same area! Sheets of newsprint come in handy for measuring floor space. Meanwhile, Jill's just happy that her little room is way down the hall.
Understanding that area is a two-dimensional measurement of space is a basic concept of geometry.
- As you read the story, have your child (or students) count the number of pieces of paper needed to cover the windows and the floor in the illustrations. Explain that the children in the story are finding the area of the windows and the floor.
- Have your child (or students) draw a shape on a piece of graph paper. Together, count the squares inside the shape to find the area. Then help your child draw another shape that has the same area (uses the same number of squares).
- Use newspaper to help your child (or students) find the area of a room. Compare the area of that room with other rooms in the building. Remember to use the same size paper when comparing rooms!