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Area of a Shape

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Basics on the topic Area of a Shape

Calculating the Area of a Shape

Sometimes you need to determine the size of a shape. The size, over which an area spreads out is called the area. This text offers the necessary knowledge on how to find the area of a shape by counting square units.

Area – Definition

The area of a shape is the amount of space it takes up on a flat surface. Area is measured in square units.

Square Units – Definition

A square unit is a special square that measures one unit in length on each side and therefore has an area of one square unit. Square units are used to find the area of a shape.

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The definition of square units states that they are squares with sides of equal length used to measure area. They take up one square unit of area. We can lay square units side by side, without spaces or overlaps, across the entire surface of a figure. This helps us to work out the area of shape by measuring the amount of space, or area, the figure takes up.

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How to count Square Units

When asked to find area in square units you need to count the number of square units needed to cover a surface one at a time. This will calculate the total area of a shape and is why area is measured in square units.

Square Units in an Area

Let’s explain the relationship between area and square units: Square units are used to measure area. This is why questions ask you to find the area in square units.

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Finding the Area of a Shape

The area of a shape is expressed in square units. Let’s say a shape is covered by 40 square units, you would count each square unit and then be able to say that the area measures 40 square units.

Finding the area of a shape is simple. After laying square units across the entire surface of a figure, count each square. For example, you can draw square units across the entire surface to show the area of a 2D shape. This is how to work out area of a shape. Finally, label the area of a figure in square units.

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Finding the Area of irregular Shapes

Finding the area of an irregular shape is the same. After laying square units side by side, across the entire surface of the irregular figure, count each square.

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Area – Examples

Below are examples of area. To work out area of a shape in square units, simply count the square units that cover each one.

Two examples of areas for regular shapes.

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Comparing the area of two irregular shapes.

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Finding Area – Summary of Steps

This is what you need to do in order to determine the area of a shape:

Step # What to do
1 Lay square units across the entire surface of the figure.
2 Count each square and add them up.
3 Label the area of the figure in square units.

Have you practiced yet? On this website, you can also find area in square units worksheets and exercises.

Frequently Asked Questions concerning The Area of a Shape

What is an area of a shape?
What are square units?
How do you count square units?
Why is area measured in square units?
How do you find the area of a (regular) shape?
How do I find the area of an irregular shape?

Transcript Area of a Shape

Zuri and Freddie have been playing BlockBuilders on an old computer they found in the landfill. After building with blocks, they want to find out whose world is larger. In order to determine which structures are larger, they will need to calculate their area or the size of the surface. Let's help them measure the area using square units. "Area of a Shape Using Square Units". Area is the amount of space a figure takes up on a flat surface. We can determine the area of a figure using square units. Square units measure one unit in length on each side. This means the space they take up measures one square unit of area. We can lay square units side by side, without spaces or overlaps, across the entire surface of a figure. This measures the amount of space it takes up. To calculate the total area, you need to count each square unit. We can use this same strategy to find out the area of Zuri and Freddie's builds. They want to compare the areas of the houses, pools and playgrounds they built. Let's begin by counting all of the square units within the floor plan of Zuri's house. We start in one corner and carefully count each square. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty! Zuri's house is twenty square units. Let's count the floor plan of Freddie's house now. Ready, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen! Freddie's house is seventeen square units. So, the area of his house is a little smaller than Zuri's. Now let's calculate the areas of their pools! How do we determine the area of Zuri's pool? We count all of the square units within the figure. Ready, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen! Zuri's pool is sixteen square units. How do we determine the area of Freddie's pool? We count all of the square units within the rectangle. Let's count, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four! Freddie's pool is twenty-four square units. So, Freddie has the larger pool. Finally, they want to compare the area of their playgrounds. How do we determine the area of Zuri's playground? We count all of the square units within the floorplan. Ready, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen! The area of Zuri's playground measures fourteen square units! How do we determine the area of Freddie's playground? We count all of the square units within the figure. Ready, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen. Freddie's playground also measures fourteen square units. Even though their playgrounds are different shapes, they still have the same area! Before Zuri and Freddie compare their worlds, let's review! Remember, area is the amount of space a figure takes up on a flat surface. We can find the area of a figure using square units. These are boxes that measure one unit of length on each side and have an area of one square unit. We lay the squares side by side without spaces or overlaps across the entire surface of the figure. Then, we count all of the squares to find the area. Finally, we write our total area in square units. "Hmmm, so whose world do you think was bigger?" "Well it looks like, hey, what happened?!" "Ohh noo! I guess we'll have to start all over again but, we can work together this time!"

Area of a Shape exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Area of a Shape.
  • What is the area of Zuri's new house?

    Hints

    Have you counted each square?

    In this example, the area would be 8 square units.

    Solution

    The answer is 18 square units.

    Zuri's house covers 18 squares on a flat surface, therefore the area is 18 square units.

  • Can you assign the block builds correctly?

    Hints

    Remember to count each square once to find out the total square units.

    This example shows an area of 15 square units.

    Solution

    Here is an example of each of the areas.

    Remember to count each square once to find the total number of square units and therefore the total area.

  • Can you work out the areas of Freddie and Zuri's creations?

    Hints

    Remember, each square unit = 1.

    Remember to count each square only once. You could start by counting along the top line then moving down.

    This example is made up of 10 square units.

    Solution

    The answer to the first problem is 12.

    If you count each square unit you will reach the answer 12.

    The area highlighted is made up of 12 square units.

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    • The second area is made up of 25 square units.
    • The third area is made up of 20 square units.
    • The fourth area is made up of 17 square units.
    • The fifth area is made up of 14 square units.
    • The sixth area is made up of 31 square units.
  • Can you order the areas?

    Hints

    As you are ordering, compare each area with the one above and below it.

    This example is made up of 9 square units.

    Remember to put the block build with the smallest area first.

    Solution

    The above image shows the smallest area and the largest area.

    The smallest area is made up of 13 square units and the largest area is made up of 21 square units.

    From smallest to largest:

    1. 13 square units
    2. 14 square units
    3. 17 square units
    4. 19 square units
    5. 21 square units
  • Find the correct area.

    Hints

    Remember to count each square once to find out the area.

    This example is made up of 4 square units.

    Solution

    This is the correct area made up of 16 square units.

  • Complete the areas of each block build.

    Hints

    Start by counting the light blue squares, then think about how many more you need to complete the total area.

    Once you have highlighted, check the total area of each block build.

    Solution
    • The first area has a total of 18 square units. There are already 14 square units so 4 extra square units needed highlighting. 18 = 14 + 4.
    • The second area has a total of 22 square units. There are already 17 square units so 5 extra square units needed highlighting. 22 = 17 + 5.
    • The third area has a total of 28 square units. There are already 22 square units so 6 extra square units needed highlighting. 28 = 22 + 6.
    • The fourth area has a total of 25 square units. There are already 18 square units so 7 extra square units needed highlighting. 25 = 18 + 7.