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Lighting the Perimeter

Subject: Math, Measurement
Grade: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students use photographs of a house to calculate the house's perimeter and determine the number of lights needed to decorate the house.


Students use scale to find the perimeter of a house.


measurement, scale, geometry, perimeter, photography

Materials Needed

  • digital camera (optional)
  • photographs of a house
  • paper
  • pencils
  • ruler

Lesson Plan

Prior to the lesson: Take a picture of a house or building.

  • Review steps in calculating perimeter.
  • Print and distribute the photograph of the house to each student.
  • Assign a scale for the photograph, such as 1 centimeter on the photograph equals 1 foot of the actual house.
  • Have students measure the perimeter of the house in the photograph.
  • Have students use scale to determine the actual perimeter of the house.
  • Have students determine how many feet of Christmas lights are needed to decorate the entire perimeter of the house.


Check students' answers, which should be appropriate to the scale of the house.

Submitted By

Lisa Nash, Hunter Elementary School, Toledo, Ohio

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