Area of a Shape

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Area of a Shape
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.C.5.A & CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.C.5.B

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In this 3rd grade math video on how to measure the area of a shape...

Zuri and Freddie find an old computer in the landfill. They start playing Block Builders, a game where you can build and explore. Zuri and Freddie are curious about the structures they’ve built and want to know how you calculate the area of their shapes. In this video, Zuri and Freddie learn how to find the area of a shape by counting unit squares.

What is the area of a shape?

Let’s learn more about finding the area of a shape and determining the area with square units in 3rd grade.

Area of a shape definition

The area of a shape is the amount of space it takes up on a flat surface. Area is always measured in square units.

What is a unit square?

A unit square is a special square that measures one unit in length on each side and thus has an area of one square unit. Unit squares are used to determine area in square units.

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Unit square definition

We define unit squares as taking up one square unit of area. We can lay unit squares side by side, without spaces or overlaps, across the entire surface of a figure. This helps us measure the amount of space, or area, the figure takes up.

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How do you count unit squares?

Count the number of square units needed to cover a surface one at a time. This will calculate the total area and is why the area is measured in square units.

What are square units?

Let’s explain the relationship between area and square units: square units are used to measure area. This is why questions ask you to find the area in square units and why is the area labeled with square units.

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What is the definition of square units?

The definition of square units is a quantity of measure used to determine the amount of space a figure takes up on a flat surface. The area of a shape is expressed in square units. How would you calculate square units? Let’s say a shape is covered by 40 unit squares, you would say its area measures 40 square units.

How do you find the area of a shape in square units?

Finding the area of a shape is simple. After laying unit squares across the entire surface of a figure, count each square. For example, you can draw unit squares across the entire surface to show the area of the rectangle. This is how to find the total area of a shape. Finally, label the area of a figure in square units.

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How to find the area of an irregular shape?

Finding the area of an odd shape is the same. After laying unit squares side by side, across the entire surface of the irregular figure, count each square.

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Area Examples

Below are examples of area. To find the area of each figure in square units,simply count the unit squares that cover each.

Comparing the area of irregular shapes and regular shapes.

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Comparing the area of two irregular shapes.

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Summary of Steps: Finding Area

  • First, lay unit squares across the entire surface of the figure.

  • Next, carefully count each square.

  • Finally, label the area of the figure in square units.

Have you practiced yet? On this website, you can also find worksheets on area in square units and exercises.