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KidsMath
FindingthePerimeter
Skillsneeded:
Multiplication
Addition
Subtraction
Polygons
Theperimeteristhelengtharoundtheoutsideofapolygonorthepaththatsurroundsanarea.Thisisdifferent
fromthesurfacearea.Thesurfaceareaishowmuchsurfaceisinsidethepolygonorspace.
Let'sshowthedifferencebetweensurfaceareaandperimeterbylookingatafootballfield.Afootballfieldis100
yardslongandaround50yardswide.Ifyoustayedrightontheborderandwalkedallthewayaroundthe
footballfieldyouwouldwalk300yards(seethepicture).Thisistheperimeter.


Ifyouhadtoputdownatarptocovertheentirefieldsoitwouldn'tgetwet,thatwouldbethesurfacearea.Go
heretofindouthowtofigurethesurfacearea.
Fromthepreviousexamplewelearnedhowtofiguretheperimeterofarectangle.Whatwedidwasaddeach
lengthtwiceandeachwidthtwice.IfwesayL=length,W=width,andP=perimeter,thenwecanhavethe
followingformulafortheperimeterofarectangle:
P=L+L+W+Wor
P=2xL+2xW
Asimilarformulacanbeusedforasquare.BecauseallofthesidesofasquarearethesamewecanuseLforall
foursides.Thismeanswefiguretheperimeterofasquareas:
P=L+L+L+Lor
P=4xL
Ingeneral,tofiguretheperimeterofapolygonyoujustaddupthelengthofthesides.Theabovetwoformulas
arejustshortcutswhereyoucanusemultiplicationbecauseyouknowsomeofthesidesarethesamelength.
Examples:
Tofiguretheperimeterofthefollowingtriangleweuse:

P=a+b+c

P=3+4+5
P=12
Figuretheperimeterforthefollowingpolygon:

P=thesumofallthesides
P=3+7+5+4+6+4
P=29
Circlesareaspecialcase.Wecalltheperimeteraroundacirclethecircumference.Thisisaspecialformula:
Circumference=2r,where=3.14andr=theradiusofthecircle
Gohereformoreonthegeometryofthecircleforkids.
Herearesomeperimeterformulasfordifferentshapesforyourreference:
circle=2r

where=3.14andr=theradius

triangle=a+b+c

a,b,andcarethesides

square=4xL

Listhelengthofaside

rectangle=2xL+2xW

L=lengthandW=width

generalpolygon=L1+L2+L3+.+Ln

L=length,n=numberofsides

MoreGeometrySubjects
Circle
Polygons
Quadrilaterals
Triangles
PythagoreanTheorem
Perimeter

Slope
SurfaceArea
VolumeofaBoxorCube
VolumeandSurfaceAreaofaSphere
VolumeandSurfaceAreaofaCylinder
VolumeandSurfaceAreaofaCone
Anglesglossary
FiguresandShapesglossary

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