Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Area, Perimeter, Volume -- a math poem


Gardens and fences
and new tile floors,
towers of blocks
and a bulletin board border.

Perimeter says "RIM"
and area is flat,
volume takes space...
I know all of that,

but keeping them straight
in my head is a problem:
square? cubic? units?
perimeter? area? volume?

Some day I'll grow up
and need carpet and tile,
frame art and fill boxes...
THEN this will be worthwhile!

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2012

Poem #25, National Poetry Month, 2012

Area and perimeter are SO hard for fourth graders to keep straight!

Cathy, at Merely Day By Day, is joining me in a poem a day this month. Other daily poem writers include Amy at The Poem Farm, Linda at TeacherDance, Donna at Mainely Write, Laura at Writing the World for Kids (daily haiku), Liz at Liz in Ink (daily haiku), Sara at Read Write Believe (daily haiku), Jone at Deo Writer (daily haiku)...and YOU?


  1. After teaching this all day, I REALLY appreciated this poem!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. I'm really glad someone else's fourth graders are confused by perimeter and area. All year long, I have used the words "perimeter" and "area" in talking to kids about coming to our class meeting area, "sit on the perimeter" for share or class meeting, sit in the "area" for a mini-lesson or read aloud. I thought for sure they would understand it by now, but I just finished a math unit on perimeter and area and ummm, not so much…I thought it was just because I am a bad math teacher!

  3. Clearly, you teach math, & keeping all these straight requires more than a ruler. Neat poem, Mary Lee that tells exactly how it is!

  4. Anonymous7:41 PM

    I love this poem! I certainly will tuck this away to share with my students next year!


Comment moderation is turned on.