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ZingPath: Perimeter and Area of Quadilaterals

Area of a Parallelogram

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Perimeter and Area of Quadilaterals

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Lesson Focus

Area of a Parallelogram

Math Foundations

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Rearrange the parts of a parallelogram to form a rectangle and devise a formula to calculate the area.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Develop an appropriate technique to find the area of a parallelogram.
  • Calculate the area of a parallelogram.
  • Express the change in the area of a parallelogram when the base length and height are changed.

Everything You'll Have Covered

This Activity Object is designed to teach the concept of finding the area of a parallelogram. In order to successfully complete the tasks, students should be familiar with the formulas for the area of a rectangle and a triangle.

An understanding of the terms base and height will be essential. In many elementary school math textbooks, the formula for a rectangle is Area = length x width. However, in middle school, as students begin to explore the areas of other polygons, the formulas change to the terms base and height. Therefore, the formula for the area of a rectangle can also be written as Area = base x height. This information is shared during the explanation in Section 1. Be sure to emphasize it with the students.

The following terms are used throughout the Activity Object:

  • parallelogram - a shape with two pairs of parallel sides
  • base (b) - any side or flat surface of the object
  • height (h) - the perpendicular distance to the base

Be sure that the students can identify the base and height of various polygons before beginning this activity.


Prior to presenting this Activity Object, students may need practice finding the area of a triangle. A detailed example is shown below.

The formula for the area of a triangle is . To find the area of the triangle shown above:

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 15 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts formula for the area of a rectangle and triangle, properties if rectangles and triangles, Pythagorean Theorem
Course Math Foundations
Type of Tutorial Visual Proof
Key Vocabulary parallelogram, area, triangle