Think of some situations that involve the measurement of area. How would you determine these areas? For example, in order to determine how much paint to buy for your living room, how would you find the area of each surface you plan to paint -- your walls, ceiling, etc.?
Units of measurement for area involve shapes that cover a plane. Some shapes, such as rectangles and squares, cover the plane more completely than other shapes, such as circles. As mentioned above, squares are the most common unit of measurement in the U.S. customary system (square inches, square feet, square yards, square miles). The standard unit in the metric system is the square meter, with square centimeters and hectares (equivalent to 10,000 square meters) used for smaller and larger surfaces.
Most people are familiar with methods for finding the area of familiar shapes, such as rectangles and squares. But is it possible to determine the area of an irregularly shaped object? How would you determine such an area without a formula? Let's explore.