K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Juicy Juice Box
Students will be able to use their knowledge of volume and surface area through this fun, hands-on activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Mathematics)
By Sheila Martin.
Surface area of rectangular prisms
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 2.5
In this lesson for grade seven, students calculate the surface area of flattened cardboard boxes and discuss how the concept of surface area is important in various careers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Mathematics)
By Peggy Dickey and Barbara Turner.Adapted by Sharon Abell.
Modeling volume
This activity helps the students see how the volume of something includes the third dimension (width or depth) which is different from area. This activity also helps the students "prove" that the volume formula actually works. Students will already know that the volume of a rectangular prism is found by multiplying the object's length, width, and height. By using the blocks as models of volume, the students should come to realize that volume can be calculated simply by multiplying the area of the base by the height of the rectangular prism. Thus, they will come to realize that there is no need to try and fill the entire box with the tiny 1cm cubes, they can simply fill the bottom (to see how many cubes are there) and figure out how many rows there will be and multiply.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Mathematics)
By Erin Foerster.
Investigating surface area
This is a hands on lesson best used to introduce geometry students to 3-dimensional figures. Students will have the opportunity to draw 3-dimensionally and create collapsible figures which can be used to develop the standard surface area formulas.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Mathematics)
By Jennifer Bronzini.
Giving meaning to volume and surface area
This lesson is designed to help students give meaning to volume and surface area by solving problems using a meaningful situation rather than formulas.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Mathematics)
By Grayson Wheatley.
Our geometric world
The students will use newspaper and magazine pictures to recognize geometric figures within the real world. They will make a collage of pictures showing various geometric shapes. They will write a summary of the shapes that are represented in their collage.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Mathematics)
By Robin Ward.
A geometric field trip
Students conduct a field trip around the school (inside and out) looking for examples of geometric shapes. They record their findings using a digital camera and present their findings in a multimedia presentation.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Computer/Technology Skills, Information Skills, and Mathematics)
By Mary Rizzo.

Resources on the web

Purple Prisms
In order for students to better understand scale factor and surface area of various rectangular prisms, they manipulate the scale factor that links two three-dimensional rectangular prisms to learn about edge lengths and surface area relationships. Illuminations... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Mathematics)
Provided by: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Fill'r up
This is the third in a sequence of four lessons designed for students to understand scale factor and volume of various rectangular prisms. In this lesson, the student can manipulate the scale factor that links two three-dimensional rectangular prisms and... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Mathematics)
Provided by: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Collecting the rays
In this lesson, students explore how variations in solar collectors affect the energy absorbed. They make rectangular prisms that have the same volume but different linear dimensions. Students investigate relationships among the linear dimensions, the area,... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Mathematics)
Provided by: Illuminations
Scaling away
Students will measure the dimensions of a common object, multiply each dimension by a scale factor, and examine a model using the multiplied dimensions. Students will then compare the surface area and volume of the original object and the enlarged model.... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Mathematics)
Provided by: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Learning about length, perimeter, area, and volume of similar objects using interactive figures: Side length and area of similar figures
This two-part example illustrates how students can learn about the length, perimeter, area, and volume of similar objects using dynamic figures. In this part, Side Length and Area of Similar Figures, the user can manipulate the side lengths of one of two... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Mathematics)
Provided by: Illuminations