|Were you brought up with the whole idea that area could best be
taught by drawing around the hand and seeing how many squares you
covered? You counted these up and so you had the area of your hand
- or was it? Upon reflection it may have been the area of the
shadow of your hand. So why not pose the question to the youngsters
in your care? How can we find the area of a hand? What does it
I've done this in the past and we ended up either making a kind of
glove out of paper and much sellotape or we used an old glove. The
glove was then cut so that it would lie flat and just in one
thickness only. Then we considered the counting of squares!
I was visiting a school one day when they daringly wrapped up a
child - leaving breathing spaces - in newspaper and sellotape. Then
they very carefully cut that away and counted the area so as to get
some idea of the surface area of the child involved. Maybe this
gives you some ideas.
I certainly have found it beneficial to talk about it as 'surface
area' right from the start. Children seemed to get on with that
idea more easily than just referring to it all as 'area'. Working
with some children in this way led to them coming up with the idea
that the orange peel showed the surface area of the orange; I guess
it'll be true for many other fruits!