Area of a Trapezoid
Area is the space within a shape. The units of area are the squares of the units of length (that is, if a shape's sides are measured in meters, then the shape's area is measured in square meters).
Trapezoids are a special four-sided shape where two of the sides are parallel but the other two are not. We can use a method where we average the two parallel sides in order to make the trapezoid behave more like a parallelogram.
In a trapezoid, the two parallel sides are used as the bases. The height is then determined by a line which is drawn straight from one base to the other. The diagram below shows this.
To find the area of a trapezoid, perform the following calculations:
- Add the lengths of the 2 bases (parallel sides)
- Divide by 2 to get the average length of the bases.
- Multiply this by the height (distance between the parallel sides)
For example, a trapezoid with bases of 4cm and 2cm and a height of 5cm has an area which is calculated as:
- Base 1 + Base 2 = 4 + 2 = 6
- Average of bases = 6/2 = 3
- Multiply by the Height: 3 * 5 = 15cm2
What is the area of a trapezoid with the measurements given?
Bases of cm and cm
Height of cm
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