Channeling the inquisitive nature of rats to explore area and perimeter
Meets the learning standards for grades 4-5 (can be adapted)
Media Type: drawing
Formal Lesson Plan and TEKS Information

Materials: writing materials, paper or canvas, ruler, colors/color pencils, graph paper (

We were inspired by our friends Butters and Percy at River Bend Nature Center to create a lesson about rats!

Want to know more? Study this Nat Geo Kids article with even more info about rats.

Area & Perimeter:

Time for a video about area and perimeter!

After watching, can you explain the difference between Area and Perimeter and how to calculate them?

  • Grab or print some graph paper and a ruler. Use the graph paper to design a large, block letter of your choice.
  • Next, calculate the perimeter of your letter. Next calculate the area of your letter, using the ruler and the grid of the graph paper. Discuss!


Now, let’s get creative! Recreate your large block letter on a blank piece of paper. Imagine the interior of the letter is a maze, a pipe system, or a small crawlspace. Would the letter make a nice environment for rats to live and play?

Find pictures of rats for reference. Here are some other great resources:

Rat Body Language
Rat Tutorial

Take your time and really fill the area with your rat drawings.

When you’re finished,┬ácolor or other embellishments can be added. Gorgeous!


How do area and perimeter contribute to artistic design? How did the playful and inquisitive nature of rats inform your creative lettering?

Extending the Lesson