Fourth Grade Math Problems: Finding the Perimeter

Students generally are introduced to perimeter in third grade, while real-world application of this concept is emphasized the following year. Keep reading to learn how you can help your child practice calculating perimeter in engaging ways.

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How to Help You Fourth Grader Practice Perimeter

Perimeter is the distance around a shape. For instance, in a room that is ten feet by 12 feet, the perimeter would be 10 + 10 + 12 + 12, which equals 44 feet. For all shapes, the process is the same: simply add the lengths of all the sides together.

Because perimeter is used so frequently outside of the classroom, it provides an opportunity to show your son or daughter how math is used in real-world activities, like home improvement or construction. At home, worksheets with word problems can help your child prepare for standardized tests, and hands-on activities can be a fun way to demonstrate the importance of math.

At-Home Practice

Review Questions

1. A triangle has equal sides measuring three inches each. What is the perimeter (P)?

For problems involving shapes, you might draw the shape for your child and label the sides. This will help your child visualize the problem. The answer to this problem is 3 + 3 + 3 = 9 inches.

2. A rectangular room is 12 feet long and eight feet wide. What is the room's perimeter?

The formula for the perimeter of a rectangle can be written like this: P = 2L + 2W. In this case, L represents the length of the rectangle, and W represents the width of the rectangle. So, the calculation would look like this: P = 2(12) + 2(8) = 40 feet.

3. A trapezoid's sides measure 16 inches, ten inches, three inches and 24 inches. Find its perimeter.

The process is the same as always, even though the sides of this shape are different lengths. The answer is 16 + 10 + 3 + 24 = 53 inches.

Hands-On Activities

Have your child calculate the perimeter of each room in your house. Remember to have your child do the measuring so that he or she can practice that skill as well. On a larger scale, you may want to work together to calculate the perimeter of your entire home; it could be exciting for your child to calculate something on such a large scale.

If you're handy with tools, you could enhance your child's perimeter skills by completing a building project with him or her. For instance, you might plan to build a birdhouse together, and ask your child to help you figure out the perimeter of each side.

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