Last week in 2nd Grade our students learned about finding the area of a shape using square units. I love using Cheez-its for area each year, but this year it was time to come up with a new spin on the tried and true activity that my students love each year. So, let me take you through the activities we completed on Friday.
First, I read the book “Spaghettis and Meatball for all!” by Marilyn Burns. This is a great book to use when teaching area and perimeter. In Texas, we only focus on area now… so we talked a lot about how finding the area of a space can help you know how to fill it up!
After reading the book, I told the kids that we were going to use Cheez-its to explore area a little more. We made these little Cheez-it Men as booklet covers for our activity. Completing the craft first enabled us to get all of the mess out of the way before we put the crackers on our desks. It also allowed students to complete it in a timely manner because they knew that food was a comin’!
After assembling our booklets, it was time to get busy! I gave each student a small square plate and a bag of Cheez-its. We went through the first few problems in our booklet together before they were went on independently!
As we were making shapes with given areas, I had students bring their booklets up to display on the projector. We talked about how we may all be making a shape with the area of 6 square units, but there are a lot of ways to make that shape! My tips were:
1. Don’t overlap crackers
2. Don’t put random Cheez-its away from the others!
Could we have just colored in the area without using the crackers?! Absolutely! But, making the little craft and using the crackers made their engagement go up BIG time! It’s all about having our students buy into what we want them to accomplish throughout the day!
This activity has been added to my Shapin’ Up unit. If previously purchased, you can redownload under your “My Purchases” tab!
I also have a little freebie for you to use with your students. There is an Area poster and 10 area review slides that you can display on your projector. Our students sit on the carpet in front of the screens with their white boards. They count the area, write it down, and turn their boards over before we are ready to share. On the count of three, students hold up their boards, and we discuss the area of each shape! Click HERE to download!
Here is an example of the review slides that we discuss as a class: