This post provides a conceptual approach to understanding perimeter and area.
Students are prompted to build an rectangular animal pen for some farm animals. The number of fences represents the perimeter. The number of squared segments of grass inside the pen represents the area.
Three ways to represent perimeter: I taught a lesson on perimeter to a 5th grade class. First I had them create a rectangular pen for their animals and they counted the number of fence pieces. Then we drew a rectangle to represent the pen. Finally we looked at the formula. This allows a deeper conceptual understanding of the concept. This is known as Concrete-Representation-Abstract – representing the concept at all three levels.