Teacher guide reSolve: Area and Perimeter

TLF ID M025312

This series of three lessons explores the relationship between area and perimeter using the context of bumper cars at an amusement park. Students design a rectangular floor plan with the largest possible area with a given perimeter. They then explore the perimeter of a bumper car ride that has a set floor area and investigate the possible rectangles that result. They graph their results and explore the concept that the smaller the difference in side lengths, the smaller the perimeter. Students then design three different floor plans for bumper car rides with different criteria. The lesson is outlined in detail including curriculum links, vocabulary, materials needed, presentation slides, discussion points and student resources. This sequence is part of the reSolve: Maths by Inquiry program.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is extremely valuable for the year 5 mathematics content description about calculating perimeter and area of rectangles using familiar metric units. Students calculate the perimeter and area of rectangular shapes as they create and investigate different bumper car arenas.
  • This resource is also valuable for the year 5 mathematics content description about identifying and describing factors and multiples of whole numbers and using them to solve problems. Students are challenged to create rectangles of different perimeters with a given area, where the measurements are in whole numbers of metres. They need to find factor pairs for 48 and use these pairs to model different bumper car arenas, deciding which perimeter set gives their cars the most space to bump around.
  • This resource is also valuable for the year 5 mathematics content description about using efficient mental and written strategies and applying appropriate digital technologies to solve problems. During the sequence, students are guided to try different strategies for calculating their areas and perimeters, generalise their approach, and apply these strategies to other problems.
  • This resource also offers multiple opportunities to link to the Numeracy General capability, as it engages students in using appropriate metric units for length and area, and applying this to solve their bumper car arena problems.
  • This resource is also of pedagogical value as it supports teachers in building an inquiry-focused learning environment with authentic application of mathematical skills and understandings. The unit aims to develop content knowledge as well as assisting students to understand the process of inquiry.
Year level


Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Organization: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Publisher
  • Name: Australian Academy of Science
  • Organization: Australian Academy of Science
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL: https://www.science.org.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
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Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Australian Government Department of Education and Training 2017. Unless otherwise indicated, this material may be used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.