Lesson 6

Distance Around Shapes

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to understand perimeter and find the perimeter of shapes by counting to determine the side lengths.

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons, students reasoned about shapes and their attributes. In this lesson, students determine how many paper clips it takes to build a given shape to introduce perimeter as the boundary of a flat shape. Then, they find the distance around shapes with marked side lengths and consider different strategies for finding the total length of the sides. In the lesson synthesis, students have the opportunity to share familiar situations that could involve perimeter.

  • Action and Expression
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Describe perimeter as the length of the boundary of a flat shape.
  • Find the perimeter of two-dimensional shapes.

Student Facing

  • Let’s find the distance around shapes.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • What Does It Take to Build the Shapes?

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Each group of 4 needs 25-50 paper clips that are \(1\frac{1}{4}\)-inch long each.
  • If using 1-inch paper clips, use 80% scale when making copies of the blackline masters.

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 15 min
Activity 2 20 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

Reflect on how comfortable your students are asking questions of you and of each other. What can you do to encourage students to ask questions?

Suggested Centers

  • Picture Books (K–5), Stage 3: Find Shapes (Addressing)
  • Which One? (K–5), Stage 4: Grade 3 Shapes (Addressing)

Print Formatted Materials

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Student Task Statements pdf docx
Lesson Cover Page pdf docx
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Teacher Guide Log In
Teacher Presentation Materials pdf docx
Blackline Masters zip

Additional Resources

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