Could you walk through a piece of paper?

IMG_3206That was the challenge given to the 7th grade extended math class just before the break. They did it and have the photos to prove it!

But it did not stop there – the students made different shapes out of their “paper loop”  and measured the perimeter and area of them.  This led to great discussions – would the area and perimeter be the same for every shape? What shape would give the greatest area?  Do you need to measure everything or can you model the problem using algebra and then use that calculate the perimeter and areas?

Says student Louise “we were presented with the challenge of walking through a piece of paper! As difficult as it may sound, especially considering we were only allowed an A4 piece of paper and a pair of scissors, we actually found this task relatively easy.

We had the guidance of our math teacher, Ms Cooke for help, and we collaborated with our peers. About ten minutes into the class, we had the ‘opening ceremony’, and we all stepped through our pieces of paper at once. It was a moment to cherish. But alas, that was the easy part! Papers were then distributed, and we were given shapes for which we had to find the area and perimeter. Since we have been looking at this topic in math, we all knew what we needed to do, and got to work straight away. However, this proved to be more difficult than we thought, as the pieces of paper were big, and we needed at least three people, and a meter stick to get the job done. Although one group discovered they did not need to do as much measuring as the other groups. They had realized that no matter the shape, the perimeter would be consistent. Therefore, knowing the perimeter, they could use what they already knew about shapes, and find the area.

This proved to be a very fun and interesting class, and it really helped build our understanding of the area and perimeter of shapes.”