Lesson Plan

Information Gaps and Finding the Area

Facilitate rich math conversations with this lesson on finding the missing information in problems related to the area of rectangles and squares. It may be taught by itself or used as support to the lesson Finding Area: Furnishing A Room.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Finding Area: Furnishing A Room lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Finding Area: Furnishing A Room lesson plan.

Objectives

Academic

Students will be able to find the area of rectangles and squares.

Language

Students will be able to ask for necessary information and explain their reasoning when solving area problems using peer interaction and sentence frames.

Introduction

(3 minutes)
Information Gap Cards for AreaVocabulary Cards: Information Gaps and Finding the AreaGlossary: Information Gaps and Finding the AreaTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Present students with a situation that is unsolvable due to a lack of complete information. For example, "Ms. McClosky wants to buy a small table for her students' reading corner. She wants to make sure it will fit in the space she has in her classroom. The area of one table she is considering is 600 square inches. What are the dimensions of the table?"
  • Define and explain any unfamiliar words in this word problem.
  • Have students turn and talk to a nearby partner about the problem. Invite students to share any concerns they have with the problem and what they need to solve it.
  • Record students' input and guide them to the understanding that even though they could come up with possible factors that may be the width and length of the table, they will not be sure of the dimensions unless one of the sides is given (i.e., we need to know what either the width or length is in inches to be able to calculate the unknown dimension).