Monday, January 6, 2014

Area of Complex Polygons

Hello everyone!  I have been gone for awhile with some craziness of school and the holidays.  However, I have a New Year's resolution to blog something once a week.  So we'll see how well I can keep it.  Now onto the main event... complex polygons!

This is my polygon octopus (the student's told me to call it a jellyfish instead, maybe they are right).  I know that it is missing 4 legs, but my art skills lack, or maybe just my patience, to get the other 4 legs onto the page.

I created this to go with Saxon, Course 3's Lesson 37.  This lesson's focus is about decomposing complex polygons into other polygons and then calculating the area.  Honestly, when I looked at it I thought it was a perfect lesson for jazzing up!

After reading my state standards (Minnesota is one of the few states that does not use Common Core), I found the one that  matched up to this lesson and realized that composing a complex polygon and decomposing a complex polygon were both part of the standard.  That made this activity perfect because students would do both!

I am going to start by simply placing the challenge before the students to create an animal using only polygons.  This is great time to remind them that polygons are not circles!  I will stress with the students that making the shapes the same will save them time later (because they will be calculating the area of the polygon animal). 

After they finish their polygon animal, I am going to give them the worksheet that asks them to analyze their figure.  I have it in the preview below, which is saved as a word document so you can alter it if needed.  I ask the students to determine the area of their complex polygon animal, to determine the area it takes up on the page, and the probability of a coin landing on the animal if it is flipped.     

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