Area is a geometric value that tells the size of a surface, and it is an important geometric concept that is commonly taught starting in third grade. Calculating the area of an object requires addition and multiplication skills, so after your student has mastered those concepts, you can help them move on to our worksheet resources for more practice in calculating area of different shapes.
Learn More About Area
The area of a shape is the size of the shape’s surface. An easy way to think about area is to think about how much paint you would need to cover the entire shape. There are a lot of different ways to calculate the area of a shape, so we’ve put together a guide to help you help your child get a head start on calculating area!
Area of Simple Shapes
Simple shapes, like squares, triangles, rectangles, etc. have specific formulas that you can use:
Area by Counting Squares
- Square: area = length2
- Rectangle: area = length × width
- Triangle: area = ½base × height
- Circle: area = π × radius2
Another way to calculate the area of a simple shape is to count up how many squares make up the shape if you put it on a grid. There are a couple ways to go about this way of approximating area:
Area of Difficult Shapes
- More than half of a square counts as one full square and less than half a square counts as zero squares
- Combine partial parts of squares to count as half a square or a full square.
Sometimes the shapes you work with aren’t simple shapes like rectangles or triangles. However, these difficult shapes will be made up of a combination of simple shapes (e.g., a triangle on top of a square). To calculate the area of these shapes, calculate the individual areas of the simple shapes and add them together to get the total area.
Now that you have an idea of different methods to calculate area, scroll up to practice with our resources, or move over to our volume resource page
to see how the concept of area can be used with 3-D shapes.