Measure areas by counting unit squares (square cm, square m, square in, square ft, and improvised units).



This standard asks students to work with real-world units such as square feet; students will be asked to create their own "unit square" (of area one inch square, or one square foot, etc.) and to measure the area of a figure.

Understanding the Standard:

  • Hands-on exploration opportunities will allow students to place “unit square” cubes with the boundaries of a variety of polygons. This activity will reinforce that “square units” may not overlap one another or extend beyond the boundary of the polygon’s shape. Additionally, the inside of a polygon must be completely covered.
  • Students should have the opportunity to find the area of two shapes that are different in attributes such as shape. This exercise shows that while two shapes may have the same area, they may be different in shape and have different perimeters as well.
  • The use of manipulatives and technologies is helpful.
  • Having students trace and create their own shapes to find the area is an excellent way to enhance discover of this concept as well.

Questions to Focus Instruction:

  • Can students articulate the concept of area as the measurement of the amount of space within a particular object?
  • Are students able to lay “square unit” tiles within a polygon and determine the area?
  • Can students determine the area of an object by counting the square units of a polygon?


Prior to:  Students are able to calculate how many squares of one square unit will fit into a polygon.

At Grade Level:
Students are able to determine the area of a polygon (i.e., rectangle) and express that measurement using appropriate unit labels.