Directions: How can you tell which rectangle is bigger: a rectangle with a perimeter of 24 units or a rectangle with an area of 24 square units?
What does “bigger” mean? What information to we need to compare these two squares?
I have intentionally left the word “bigger” mathematically imprecise. Depending on whether “bigger” refers to a greater area or greater perimeter, you will get different answers. For example, a let’s assume that the rectangle with an area of 24 square units measures 6 units by 4 units. Now let’s consider two different rectangles with perimeters of 24 units. Rectangle A is 6 units by 6 units. That has an area of 36 square units and has a bigger area than the initial rectangle. Rectangle B is 11 units by 1 unit. That has an area of 11 square units and has a smaller area than the initial rectangle. Hopefully this will provide good opportunities to develop the need for precise mathematical language.
Source: Robert Kaplinsky