Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lesson Plan & Scenario: Finding Perimeter and Area

The following lesson plan includes a scenario around a fictional student named "Ernando."  Ernando is an English Language Learner with an Emotional Behavior Disturbance.  The lesson is used for all students in the class, but works around Ernando in order to help him succeed in the regular classroom.

Title:  Finding the Perimeter -- Ernando (Emotional Behavior Disturbance)

Subject/Grade Level: 5th Grade Mathmatics

  • Students will be able to find the perimeter of objects around the classroom, using a ruler, measuring tape, or meter stick.
  • Students will be able to explain how to find the perimeter of a figure.

Anticipatory Set

Have a student walk around a small area rug in the front of the room.  Have the student walk around the edge of the rug.  For each step, the student will have one foot touching the tip of their other foot.  Have the rest of the students count how many steps the student is taking to walk around the rug.  Explain that the student and the class just found the perimeter of the rug.  Ask the students if they can define perimeter based on the experiment.


Day One:

Define perimeter as the distance around a two-dimensional shape.

Model using a geoboard: with a rubber band, make a square, and show it to the class.  Have a student come up and count how many units go around the square.  Explain that the class found the perimeter using the Geoboard’s units.

Give the students Geoboards.  Have them make their own shapes and find the perimeters of those shapes.  They may work with a partner if needed.

Draw a rectangle on the board, and give each side a length.  Ask the students if they can figure out the perimeter for the rectangle.  Have them work with a small group to see if they can find the perimeter.

Regroup as a class, and go back to the square Geoboard.  Break each side of the square up by its length in units.  Ask, “if we already know the perimeter of the square, how can we find the perimeter of the square if we break it up into lengths for each side.”  Have the students work with the group to see if they can figure out how the perimeter can be found by using the sides.  The goal is for them to realize that the sides are added together.

Regroup as a class again, and have the groups share their thought processes.  Explain that to find the perimeter, we add up the sides of the figure.

Complete two or three practice problems as a class, finding the perimeter of figures with stated lengths.  Then, have students complete a brief worksheet individually that involves finding the perimeter.

Day 2:

Students will receive a worksheet explicitly stating objects that they will find the perimeter of.  There will also be a few objects that they can pick on their own.

Students will be paired in small groups of 2 or 3.  Using their worksheets as a guide, students will find the perimeter of various objects around the room.  The teacher will measure and find the perimeter of objects before class to create an answer key for assessment accuracy.  Possible objects that will appear on the worksheet may include: desks, tables, posters, books, etc.  The students will write down their answers on the worksheet.

The last problem on the worksheet will say to find the perimeter of the classroom.  The whole class will work on this together.


This lesson is geared towards students with emotional behavior disorders and also English Language Learners, but can be differentiated for any disability.  Several differentiation strategies are listed in the questions followed.

Multiple Means of Representation (How will differentiate content to the students?)

The teacher will model the Geoboards, which will show the students what they need to do.  This will prevent Ernando from getting upset for not knowing what to do.  The teacher may also write directions on the board in case any of the students forget.

Ernando will be able to work with a group that he likes.  The teacher will ask who he feels comfortable working with, and the teacher will make groups based on this suggestion.  The positive peer interaction will help him feel comfortable and be engaged in the class material.  Ernando, and all students, will also receive positive interactions from the teachers.  The teacher will help Ernando one-on-one when necessary.  The teacher should also provide intangible and tangible rewards for Ernando throughout the lesson.

If Ernando gets upset at anytime, let him do his brief, undisruptive, cool down options.  For example, he may have been taught to take a deep breath.  He could do this if he becomes upset.  In general, he will continue to work on expressing his anger in more appropriate ways.

Because Ernando excels in physical education, it is beneficial for him to move around.  By finding the perimeter of objects around the room, students will be up and out of their seats for most of Day 2.

To help Ernando meet his goals, the teacher will monitor how often Ernando has to be taken out of the classroom for his threatening and disruptive behavior.  He will try to refrain from any physical outburst and stay out of the hallway.
Multiple Means of Engagement (How Ernando engages in the content -- teaching strategies)

Anticipatory set: For the rug activity, ask Ernando before class if he would like to be apart of the activity.  This will include him, while giving him a heads up to avoid a physical outburst for being called on unexpectedly.  Be sure to praise Ernando for participating.

Procedures:  The whole class will be engaged by working with hands on activities.  They will be engaged by using manipulatives.

When the teacher asks for thought processes after activities, Ernando can express his frustration or any thought that he has about perimeter.  He can do this in an open format.  He can release his feelings, but in a calmer manner.

Multiple Means of Expression (How will Ernando express/demonstrate proficiency or mastery of your content?

Ernando is average in math.  He will show that he learned the material through accurately completing the worksheet and participating in class.


Exit slip: Ask the students: “What are some real-life reasons or examples where we find the perimeter of objects in our life?”  Students will write at least two examples.

For when the students go home, have the students ask a family member or friend for another example of how we use perimeter in our lives.  Students will share these examples in the next day of class.

Formative/Summative Assessment

The teacher will walk around and observe, making sure students are on track, working with their groups, doing the assigned work, and answering questions.

The students will be graded on the worksheet where they find the perimeter of objects in the room.  They will be graded on accuracy, whether they are close to the actual measurement or not.  The assessment will be worth a small amount of points.  They will be assessed on their ability to find the perimeter of shapes.

  • Ruler
  • Meter Stick
  • Measuring Tape
  • Area rug
  • Perimeter Worksheet
  • Pencils/paper
  • Geoboards and rubberbands


No technology is required, but students can use digital Geoboards if technology is available.

Reflection on Planning

I wanted to guide the students to finding the perimeter.  I didn’t want to lecture them, because then the learning would not be meaningful.  By physically working with manipulatives and thinking aloud, students will be able to gain an understanding through discovery learning.  They are more likely to remember the material this way rather than through lecturing.  I thought finding the perimeter of the room would be exciting for the students.  The whole class can work together through this format of discovery learning.

I also think the hands-on activities are good for Ernando because he is an English Language Learner.  He may not understand words being lectured, but he will understanding by working with objects because he will be able to see what is being done.

I also thought that group work would be beneficial for all students.  Students can build ideas off each other.  For Ernando, I would ask him before class which students he would feel comfortable with working for this lesson.  By letting him have a say in his group, this may avoid an outburst.

Physically finding the perimeter of concrete objects will help students who are visual learners.  These manipulatives also help students who are kinesthetic learners, or those who are hands-on.

By measuring real life objects and thinking about where perimeter is used daily, students can make connects and find a purpose for the assignment.  This may help Ernando because he will realize that his assignment has meaning and isn’t something that is being done for busy work.

Below is additional information on fictional student "Ernando" based off his fictional Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).  Note: This is NOT a real student. This scenario was created for an undergraduate course to help prepare prospective teachers.

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