Building a House: Area and Perimeter

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 10949

You are in an area surrounded by a perimeter, and you can't escape! Any room you are in has an area and perimeter. Don't be a square! Learn the right way to design your own quadrilateral dream home!



learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Have you ever thought about what your dream home would look like?

How big would it be? What type of rooms would it have?

Today, your dream home is going to become a reality, as you learn and apply an important math skill that architects use on a daily basis!

  • Did you know the room you are sitting in, right now, has an area and a perimeter?

The home or apartment you are living in also has an area and a perimeter. Even the car you ride in to go places has an area and a perimeter.

  • So, what are area and perimeter?

Area is the size of a surface. To find the area of a quadrilateral, or four-sided, shape, use the formula:

Base x Height = Area (B x H = A).

Some teachers will say the formula for finding the area of a quadrilateral is Length x Width = Area (L x W = A). Either of these formulas is correct, because base and height are the same thing as length and width.

To learn more about finding the area of a quadrilateral, visit the Khan Academy page Area of a parallelogram. Watch the video and then complete some of the practice problems! When you are finished, complete the quiz below to check your understanding.


Perimeter is the distance around the outside of a 2-dimensional shape. The easiest way to differentiate perimeter from area is, perimeter has the word "rim" in the middle of it. Perimeter involves finding the distance around the rim of an object.

To find the perimeter of a quadrilateral, use the formula:

Side + Side + Side + Side = Perimeter (S + S + S + S = P).

To see some examples and learn more about finding perimeter, visit the Khan Academy page Perimeter of a shape. Watch the video and do the practice problems until you feel comfortable with finding perimeter.

Before moving on to the Got It? section, consider why it is important to know how to find area and perimeter.

  • How do you use area and perimeter in everyday life?

Discuss your ideas with a friend or family member.

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