Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: Perimeter, Area, and Volume

Perimeter, Area, and Volume
written by David A. Adler; illustrated by Edward Miller
2012 (Holiday House)
Source: Orange County Public Library

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The fictional 3-D movie, Monsters in the Neighborhood, serves as the setting for the fun measurement lesson contained in Perimeter, Area, and Volume. If you measure the height of the monster stars, you are looking at one dimension. Not surprisingly, Frances Stein leads in this category. In the movie, the monsters build a fence to keep out nosy neighbors. The dimension of length comes into play as they try to figure out the perimeter of their yard. When it is time to watch this cinematic creation come to life, other measurements are needed. Is the movie screen big enough for Frances? You will to measure the area of the screen to find out. This is measuring two dimensions, length and width. Popcorn, anyone? Now we're talking about three dimensions, height, width, and depth, in order to find the volume of the jumbo popcorn box. After the successful movie premiere, the monsters need to go home but it is raining. Once more, measurement of three dimensions is needed for proper fitting monster raincoats and the end to an enjoyable evening of measuring and movie watching. Perimeter, Area, and Volume presents a unique perspective on distance and capacity measurement that will entice students to think about how these measures connect to their lives.

The obvious use of this book would be as a math read-aloud. You could break it up over several days as you focus on different measurements. For older students, radius, circumference, and pi are touched upon in the section on one dimensional measurements. I like how Adler explicitly points out that the names of measurements change as you add dimensions. Inches go to square inches when measuring area and then to cubic inches when measuring volume. A writing and art assignment could involve creating monsters that would go on to be the stars of their own math problems. Perimeter, Area, and Volume is an entertaining approach to learning about crucial math concepts.


  1. Another great selection, Jeff. Will definitely check this one out. :)

  2. So sad that no libraries in my area have this book yet. Hopefully they will soon. I love math based literature. Thanks for sharing this new title. You always have great selections.

  3. Thank you everyone for visiting! I appreciate your kind comments and agree that this book is a really good resource.