Spatializing Area (Part 2 of 3)

Early Years/Primary
Age 3-9


Kindergarten: Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviour ​

  • Measure, using non-standard units of the same size, and compare objects, materials, and spaces in terms of their length, mass, capacity, area, and temperature, and explore ways of measuring the passage of time, through inquiry and play-based learning (#19).​

Primary: Measurement​

  • Estimate, measure, and record length, perimeter, area, mass, capacity, time, and temperature, using standard units.​


  • Students are sitting in a circle on the carpet.
  • Students should have completed “Spatializing Area Part 1“.


  • Pre-made shapes (Appendix B – download)​
  • 2” x 2” square tiles – enough for each student to have at least 12

Lesson: Part 2 of 3

  • Show students two different sized shapes with the same area (see Appendix B – download).  ​
  • Tell students to look carefully the two shapes and think about how much space the shaded part is taking up. ​
  • Ask students: Do you think one of these shapes is bigger than the other? Could it also be possible that they take up the same space? What do you think?
  • Go around in the circle and have each student respond. It is expected that most students will believe the ‘b’ shape to occupy a larger area.​
  • Present the square unit again and have students mentally iterate how many of the single blue tiles it might take to cover each shape in turn. ​
  • Ask students: How many of these blue squares will it take to cover each shape? ​
  • Begin with the cross shape. Ask children to see if they can figure out how many squares it will take to cover it. Ask children to use their fingers to show everyone how many they think it might take.​
  • Ask students to share their responses. Next, move onto measuring the cross shape.​
  • Some students might see that the two shapes share the same area. Ask students how this could be possible.​
  • Fill each shape with the square units and show students that the two shapes share the same area. ​
  • Also ask students if there is anything they can do to the cross shape to make it look like the ‘b’ shape. ​

Look Fors

  • Can students accurately explain and justify their predictions?​
  • Can students accurately predict how many squares will fill the larger shapes?


  • See Part 3 of Spatializing Area.
  • Click here to download all three parts of the Spatializing Area lesson. 

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