The perimeter of a figure is the distance around the outside of the figure. This is true whether the figure is a familiar figure like a rectangle or triangle, or if it is a complex figure like the floorplan of a house.

To find the perimeter of this figure, you need to add the lengths of all 6 sides.

Perimeter = 5 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 2 = 16 units

EXAMPLE: you need to put up an electronic fence to keep your dog on the property, you would need to figure out the perimeter to get the right amount of wire

Area

Area is the number unit squares that fit inside a figure. A unit square is a square that is one unit long by one unit wide where the unit of length can be millimeters, inches, feet, miles, etc.

To find the area of a rectangle, you need to imagine it being cut into its unit squares.

In this 4-by-6 rectangle it is pretty easy to see that the rectangle can be cut into 24 unit squares. If each unit square is 1 cm-by-1 cm, then we say the area of the rectangle is 24 square centimeters. This is often written as 24 cm^2.

Rather than counting all the unit squares in the 4-by-6 rectangle, a quicker method for finding the number of unit squares in a rectangle is to multiply the length of the base by the height.

6 cm • 4 cm = 24 cm^2

EXAMPLE: robo mower will mow the grass, to figure out how much area the machine needs to mow you would figure out the area

Area - the size a surface takes up, measured in square units