Linking Quadratics to Rectangle Area

Disclaimer: This is not my idea. If it is yours, I would LOVE to meet you, chat, virtually shake your hand and pat you on the back. In fact, I'll write this post TO you.

Are you looking for a fun quadratics inquiry activity linking parabolas to rectangle dimensions? In this post super math teacher Ms. Childers shares her amazing algebra activity with us.

I came across your brilliant Quadratics activity on Pinterest after a search for ways to connect parabolas to rectangles. Some quadratic word problems are motion problems while others talk about areas of rectangles. You magically merged the two. 

I'm writing this post to keep the description of your ground-shattering activity alive. Here is the only hint of your wondrous activity I was able to find before Pinterest seemed to change things and erase photo descriptions from existence:

"Students were given: Make a rectangle with a perimeter of 40. Each were given a different base length and had to find height and area. Students graphed their rectangles base (x) vs. area (y). Equation y=x(20-x), so students got to see a parabola in action! It went great!!"


The original has been found! Teacher Ms. Childers came across this post on Pinterest and recognized her photo! We connected via email and the rest is history! 

You can read all about this amazing activity in her post: "A Picture is Worth 1000 Words..."!

Ms. Childers was kind enough to allow me to keep her photo on this post and joined our Visual Math Facebook group where she shared this wonderful activity!

Would you believe Ms. Childers came up with this activity her very first year teaching? So amazing! 

I write more about the quadratics activities we do in class in the post Fun with Quadratics


  1. Idea might have come from Anthony Harradine? Think that's who first introduced it to me. Love it!

    1. I will have to do some research on him! Thank you! I have been wondering for a long time who came up with this idea. It's just so great.

  2. AnonymousMay 01, 2019

    Actually that picture is mine! Nice to meet you :) You can email me at if you would ever like to chat!

    1. I've been waiting for this day! Emailing now!