Practice Decimals, Area, and Perimeter With This Pet Store Math Activity

Combine art and math by inviting your students to create a pet shop aquarium display.

In this pet store math activity, students learn about adding decimals as well as area and perimeter by designing an aquarium and collaborating with their peers to create an entire pet store wall of aquariums!

Step 1: Design your aquarium.

What you will need:

  • Light blue construction paper (9″ x 9″ square for each child)
  • Pencils
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils

What you do: First have students decide what types of fish they would like to include in their aquarium. Students have to think about whether they will be creating a fresh water or salt water aquarium. They also have to think about what types of fish are sold at a pet shop.

Plus they have to think about the size of their square aquarium. Too many fish wouldn’t be very comfortable. After they have decided, they research the prices online and print out photos of the fish they plan on including. They create their very own price sheet.

Then they design their aquarium and record their price on a separate sheet of paper. This reinforces adding decimals. Students can add plants, pebbles, rock displays, castles, treasure chests, or anything else they would like to make their pets feel at home.


Step 2: Collaborate on an aquarium wall.


Once all of the students have created their square aquarium, they collaborate and construct various shapes (by stacking aquarium designs). Then they figure out the area and perimeter of each aquarium wall display. Square aquariums represent 1 square inch. Teachers can work with small groups or students can create displays as a math station. Afterwards you can create various displays to hang outside the door of your classroom!