   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from Lymp: Hi, for math we are calculating the area of shapes and my teacher wanted me to research how to calculate the area of shapes so i was wondering if you could tell me how t calculate the area of any shapes. Please tell me how to calculate a cross, parallelogram and a polygon Hi,

The answer depends on how much you know about the shapes. From your description it looks like your shapes all have edges which are line segments. If so you might try to partition your shape into non-overlapping triangles. If you can do this then the area of the shape is the sum of the areas of the triangles. You can find the areas of the triangles using the familiar formula that the area of a triangle is one half the length times the height but if you know the lengths of the sides of the triangle you can also use Heron's Formula.

I hope this helps,
Penny     Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.