# An Introduction to Area | Teaching Maths | EasyTeaching

Area is the space inside a 2D shape. We can’t use units such as cm or m, because they only measure distances in a straight line. So, to measure area, we use squares. This shape has an area of 8 squares. Let’s calculate the area of some other shapes. If we overlay a grid, it makes it easy to calculate. By counting, we can see that the area of the first shape is 15 squares and the area of the second shape is 12 squares. But what if we want to calculate the area of a shape and there are no squares to help us. For example, this playing court? We will need to know the length and the width of our shape. The length is 7m and the width is 4m. The rule for calculating the area of a rectangle is length times width. So to calculate the area of this rectangle, we multiply 7m by 4m. 7 x 4 equals 28. The area is 28 squares. …and because our measurements are in metres, the area is 28 square metres. So now we know the rule, Area equals length times width. But let’s go back to our last example to see why this works. We know that we have 4 rows, each with 7 squares. 7 times 4. We can see that 28 square fit perfectly over the area, so the area is 28 square metres, or metres squared. Let’s see if we can use this rule with another rectangle. Area=length, which is 8cm, times width, which is 3cm. 8 times 3 is 24. This rectangle has an area of 24 centimetre squares. Instead of writing ‘square’, we can use this symbol to show we are measuring area. Now we’ll have a go at calculating the area of an irregular shape. Here is the floor plan of a house. Can you see how we can divide this irregular shape into two rectangles? There are a couple of ways we could do it. One is like this and another is like this. Then we’d just have to use our rule Area equals length times width to work of the area of both rectangles. Easy. Findng the area of a rectangle is easy! EasyTeaching.net

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