top of page
  • Writer's pictureCaroline Farkas

How to Teach Perimeter of A Rectangle

Do you need to teach your upper elementary students how to find the perimeter of a rectangle? Try these tips!

How do you find the perimeter of a rectangle?

Show this video that explains how to find the perimeter of a rectangle that 4th-grade math students need to know!

What are some common misconceptions that students have when finding perimeter?

  • Students often mix the concepts of area and perimeter up. I like to have visual cues and resources around the room to help students remember the difference.

  • Students sometimes make computation mistakes when finding the perimeter due to trying to solve the problem completely in their heads or not writing down their work properly. I always provide plenty of scrap paper for students to use, and make sure they are clearly writing out each step they take so they can go back and check their work. I make sure they write down the specific strategy or formula they are using.

  • Students often get the measurement portion wrong if they are measuring themselves. Make sure students have a strong foundation of how to measure, the importance of using specific units, and using tools to help them!

What strategies do you teach students to find the perimeter of a rectangle?

I teach 3 main strategies to students in upper elementary to find the perimeter of a rectangle. I encourage students to think of other strategies that might work as well. The three main equations that I teach to students are:

  • Adding the length of all four sides of a rectangle

  • Perimeter = (2 x length) + (2 x width)

  • Perimeter = (length +width) x 2

What activities can help teach your students about the perimeter of a rectangle?

  • Have students find the perimeter of your classroom. This will give them a real-life visual of what perimeter is. You can also have them find the perimeter of other objects or rooms around the school. For example, you can have them measure the perimeter of the playground, the rug, the chalkboard, and more!

  • Find a project-based lesson to help your students apply the concept of perimeter. I have used lessons in the past where students design zoos using area/perimeter, theme parks, or even our classroom. Students love to apply what they have learned to design.

  • Read a geometry picture book that supports their learning! There are many great picture books that discuss geometry concepts like area and perimeter. Look for a future blog post that lists my favorites!

  • Have students play online games like Geotombs or this zoo game to help students practice the skills you have taught in class!

Do you have any additional resources that could help my students?

Home Design Area and Perimeter Clipart Set

  • Need area and perimeter clipart to create project-based lessons or to add to your teaching resources? Check out my area and perimeter clipart!

Youtube Videos for Upper Elementary Math Students

Want more information on teaching upper elementary math? Sign up for our email list and get access to our free resource library!

Finding the Perimeter of a rectangle: What is perimeter?



bottom of page