Lesson plan

9. Multiply to find the area of rectangles in word problems (FP)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.C.5b http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/MD/C/5/b
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.C.6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/MD/C/6
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.C.7a http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/MD/C/7/a
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP1
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP2

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Lesson objective: Multiply side lengths to solve word problems involving the area of a rectangle.

This lesson helps to build procedural skill with using multiplication to solve word problems involving the area of a rectangle. Partitioning a rectangle into equal square units is used here because it supports student understanding of the connection between area of a rectangle, arrays, and the structure of multiplication. This work develops students' understanding that we can find the area of a rectangle (with whole number length sides) by tiling it with unit squares or by multiplying the side lengths.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 2 (reason abstractly and quantitatively) as they use drawings and equations to represent real world area situations. Students also engage in Mathematical Practice 6 (attend to precision) as they use the correct square units to give meaning to their answers.

Key vocabulary:

  • area
  • length
  • partition
  • repeated addition equation
  • row
  • skip count
  • square centimeter
  • square foot
  • square inch
  • square meter
  • square unit
  • width

Special materials needed:

  • centimeter graph paper
  • square tiles