Photograph of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

CareerStart lessons: Grade seven

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Learning outcomes

Students will gain an understanding of how to measure the perimeter of a rectangle and will learn some real-world applications for that skill.

Teacher preparation

Time required for lesson

Approximately 55 minutes

Materials needed

  • Student handouts:
    • KWL chart
    • Blank graph paper
    • Perimeter worksheet
    • Extra-credit parent activity sheet (optional)
  • Perimeter worksheet and blank graph paper copied as transparencies
  • Overhead projector and pens
  • Computer with projector and internet access to access the Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • Optional: If you don’t have access to a computer and projector, you may print overviews of the careers discussed in this lesson and hand them out to students.
  • Answer key for perimeter worksheet
  • Calculators (optional)


  1. Hand out the KWL chart and ask students what they know and what they want to know about fencing in a yard. (10 minutes)
  2. Ask students what type of measurement is used in fencing in a plot of land.
  3. Using the graph paper, have students suggest possible dimensions (length and width) of a yard if the perimeter is 24 ft., 48 ft., or 72 ft. (Tell the students that each square on the graph paper represents one foot.) Have students come up to the overhead and draw examples of each perimeter.
  4. Independent Practice: Hand out the perimeter worksheet and have students complete it. (15 minutes)
  5. Use the questions on the worksheet as a springboard to start a class discussion about careers in which people use perimeter. Access the linked information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook about the following careers in which perimeter is important, and discuss key points with students:
  6. After you collect the worksheets, complete the “Learned” part of the KWL chart for students to see the next day.
  7. As extra credit, tell students they may complete the parent activity sheet (included) for homework. (Note: Students may need a few days of turnaround time because parent involvement is needed.)

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 7

  • Goal 1: Number and Operations - The learner will understand and compute with rational numbers.
    • Objective 1.02: Develop fluency in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of rational numbers.
      • Analyze computational strategies.
      • Describe the effect of operations on size.
      • Estimate the results of computations.
      • Judge the reasonableness of solutions.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 7

        • The Number System
          • 7.NS.3Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers.1