The concept of area is a fundamental aspect of mathematics, and it is used not only in geometry but in other fields such as engineering, physics, and architecture. Area represents the amount of space enclosed by a figure, and it is measured in square units. Finding the area of a shape is an essential skill that is often required to solve mathematical problems. This article discusses various methods used to find the area of different geometric shapes.

The formula for finding the area of a shape depends on the type of figure being considered. Therefore, it is essential to start by identifying the figure and its properties. Some common shapes include squares, rectangles, circles, triangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, and polygons.

Finding the Area of a Square:

A square is a four-sided polygon with all sides equal and all angles right angles. The area of a square is found by multiplying the length of one side by itself. Thus, the formula for the area of a square is:

Area (A) = side x side or A = s²

Where s is the length of a side of the square.

Example: Find the area of a square with a side length of 5cm.

Solution: A = side x side = 5cm x 5cm = 25cm²

Therefore, the area of a square with a side length of 5cm is 25cm².

Finding the Area of a Rectangle:

A rectangle is a four-sided polygon with opposite sides equal and parallel and all angles right angles. To find the area of a rectangle, we multiply the length by the width. The formula for the area of a rectangle is:

Area (A) = length x width or A = lw

Where l is the length of the rectangle, and w is the width.

Example: Find the area of a rectangle with length 6cm and width 4cm.

Solution: A = length x width = 6cm x 4cm = 24cm²

Therefore, the area of a rectangle with length 6cm and width 4cm is 24cm².

Finding the Area of a Circle:

A circle is a two-dimensional figure in which all points on the boundary are equidistant from a fixed point called the center. The area of a circle is found by multiplying the square of its radius by π (pi). The formula for the area of a circle is:

Area (A) = π x radius² or A = πr²

Where r is the radius of the circle, and π (pi) is 3.14159 (a constant value).

Example: Find the area of a circle with a radius of 8cm.

Solution: A = πr² = 3.14159 x (8cm)² = 201.06176cm² (rounded to two decimal places)

Therefore, the area of a circle with a radius of 8cm is approximately 201.06cm².

Finding the Area of a Triangle:

A triangle is a three-sided polygon that is formed by connecting three non-collinear points. The area of a triangle can be calculated using various formulas, depending on the properties of the triangle. The most common formula used to find the area of a triangle is:

Area (A) = 1/2 x base x height or A = 1/2bh

Where b is the base of the triangle, and h is its height.

Example: Find the area of a triangle with a base of 10cm and a height of 6cm.

Solution: A = 1/2bh = 1/2 x 10cm x 6cm = 30cm²

Therefore, the area of a triangle with a base of 10cm and a height of 6cm is 30cm².

Finding the Area of a Parallelogram:

A parallelogram is a four-sided polygon with opposite sides parallel and equal in length. The area of a parallelogram is found by multiplying the base by the height. The formula for the area of a parallelogram is:

Area (A) = base x height or A = bh

Where b is the base of the parallelogram, and h is its height.

Example: Find the area of a parallelogram with a base of 8cm and a height of 5cm.

Solution: A = base x height = 8cm x 5cm = 40cm²

Therefore, the area of a parallelogram with a base of 8cm and a height of 5cm is 40cm².

Finding the Area of a Trapezoid:

A trapezoid is a four-sided polygon with one pair of parallel sides. To find the area of a trapezoid, we add the length of the parallel sides and then multiply by the height, and then divide by two. The formula for the area of a trapezoid is:

Area (A) = 1/2 x (base1 + base2) x height or A = 1/2(b1 + b2)h

Where b1 and b2 are the lengths of the parallel sides, and h is the height between them.

Example: Find the area of a trapezoid with base1 6cm, base2 14cm, and height 8cm.

Solution: A = 1/2(b1 + b2)h = 1/2(6cm + 14cm) x 8cm = 80cm²

Therefore, the area of a trapezoid with base1 6cm, base2 14cm, and height 8cm is 80cm².

Finding the Area of a Regular Polygon:

A polygon is a closed figure with three or more sides. A regular polygon is a polygon that has all its sides of equal length and all its angles of equal measure. To find the area of a regular polygon, we use the formula:

Area (A) = 1/2 x perimeter x apothem or A = 1/2Pa

Where P is the perimeter of the polygon, and a is the apothem (a line segment from the center of the polygon to the midpoint of one of its sides).

Example: Find the area of a regular hexagon with a side length of 8cm.

Solution: To find the perimeter of the hexagon, we multiply the side length by 6 (the number of sides in a hexagon).

Perimeter = 6s = 6(8cm) = 48cm

To find the apothem, we can use the formula:

a = s / 2 tan(π/n) where n is the number of sides in the polygon.

a = 8cm / 2 tan(π/6) = 4cm x 1.73205 = 6.928cm (rounded to three decimal places)

Now, we can use the formula for the area of a regular polygon:

A = 1/2Pa = 1/2(48cm)(6.928cm) = 166.56cm² (rounded to two decimal places)

Therefore, the area of a regular hexagon with a side length of 8cm is approximately 166.56cm².

In conclusion, finding the area of different geometric shapes is an essential mathematical skill with practical applications in various fields. It is important to identify the figure and its properties before using the appropriate formula to find the area. By following the steps outlined in this article, anyone can learn how to find the area of different geometric shapes.