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Math Foundations

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

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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.

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.

Examples:

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:

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 |