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We also give them a certain perimeter 20 inches and they use inch tiles to find the different rectangles that can be made with this perimeter and find the area of each. When I taught 6th, I did a design your bedroom unit on graph paper. One of the parts was to figure out how much carpet/tile they needed (area) and one part was to figure out how much border you would need (perimeter). I have also given the home assignment of measuring the perimeter of actual room, drawing it out on graph paper. They then had to find the area of their room. We used this assignment to practice converting from inches to feet to yards. We also talked about the relationship between the perimeter and area in inches versus the perimeter and area in feet. I would not do this assignment with students younger than 6th though. Hope this helps!
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