Perimeter is the distance around a figure. For a rectangle, we can find the perimeter using two procedures:
Area is the number of square units inside a retangle. Area is found by multiplying the length by the width.
We use linear units when measure perimeter. Linear units measure one dimension, length. To show that a rectangle has a perimeter of 24 inches, we would write 24 in. Click here to see a mini-movie on linear units.
It's important to understand the difference between perimeter and area, but also to know that two shapes may have the same perimeter, but different areas or may have the same area, but different perimeters.
In the mini-movie below, you're going to press the three buttons below the grid. With each press the rectangle will change dimensions. Your job is to observe what happens to the area and perimeter as the rectangle changes dimensions.
Take a look at the table below to see how the area and perimeter changed when you pushed the buttons.
Although the area changes with each rectangle, the perimeter stays the same. Do you think that it is possible to have two rectangles with the same area but different perimeters?