teaching resource

Interactive Perimeter Puzzle

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide | 1 page | Grades: 3 - 4

Calculate and match the perimeters of all 16 shapes on the board to reveal a perimeter puzzle mystery picture.

Make Perimeter Calculations Less Puzzling

If things are shaping up as they should in your math lessons, your students are on to calculating the area and perimeter of geometric shapes, and…

They’ll need a fun way to put the formulas to work! 

To play, students will calculate the perimeter of each figure on the board. Then, they’ll find the puzzle piece with the matching measurement, looking carefully at each label to identify centimeters, inches, etc. 

This activity can be played during independent work time, in your math center, or as a guided math activity by calling students up to the board to complete one piece at a time.  

By completing this activity, students show they can use the correct mathematical formula to find the perimeter of a shape with whole number dimensions.

Perimeter Game Scaffolding + Extension Tips 

Provide students with visual references to help them solve perimeter calculations independently, such as a poster or anchor chart

There are two ways to differentiate this game for students who need support or more of a challenge: 

Below-Level

Print the game board for students to find the perimeters first. They can do this independently or with a partner. Once students calculate the perimeters, they can go back to the interactive game to move the puzzle pieces into place. This focus time allows students to write down the equation rather than rely on mental math. Students will also be able to physically mark the unit figures.

Above Level

Have students create their own perimeter puzzle to swap with a friend! Students draw a picture and overlap it with a grid (9 squares for a 3×3 grid or 16 squares for a 4×4 grid). Then, they create perimeter shape problems in the grid format, writing the answer for each problem on the corresponding picture piece. Students cut up the picture into squares and give it to a friend to try.

Get our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies here! 

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Please note that this activity is an interactive Google Slides resource. 

After downloading, make a copy of the resource: 

  1. Click on File.
  2. From the dropdown menu, hover your cursor over Make a copy.
  3. From the side bar, click on Entire presentation

Puzzle pieces are moveable in Edit mode only (versus Presentation mode).

For a hands-on activity students can do without a computer, print the perimeter problem game board and image/answer pieces on cardstock. Keep all parts together in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 


Don’t stop there! We’ve got lots more perimeter activities and teaching resources for you:

Image of Perimeter Formula for 2-D Shapes - Poster

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Perimeter Formula for 2-D Shapes - Poster

A poster showing the perimeter formula for different 2-D shapes.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: 4 - 5
Image of Perimeter Worksheets

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Perimeter Worksheets

Practice finding the perimeter of different shapes with this pair of worksheets.

Teach Starter Publishing4 pagesGrades: 3 - 5
Image of Number Talks - Perimeter and Area Task Cards

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Number Talks - Perimeter and Area Task Cards

Build number sense skills with this set of 28 task cards.

Teach Starter Publishing28 pagesGrades: 3 - 6

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