# Surface Area of Rectangular Prisms Lesson Plan

## Overview

Have you ever wondered how to teach surface area of a rectangular prism to your 6th graders? Or how to teach surface area of a prism using a net?

In this artistic, real-life lesson plan, students will learn about finding the surface area of rectangular prisms using 3D shape nets. The lesson plan includes guided notes (like sketch notes) with integrated checks for understanding as well as practice with color by code.

It culminates in a real-life application of finding the surface area of ice in drinks like lemonade. Students learn why crushed cools your drink faster than cubed ice—it's all due to surface area!

\$4.25

## Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

• Convert a given rectangular prism to a 3D shape net

• Find the surface area of a rectangular prisms

• Understand the real-life application of the surface area of rectangular pri

Note: This only covers surface area of rectangular prisms. For volume of rectangular prisms check out my volume lesson plan. For other shapes, check out the extensions section below.

## Prerequisites

Before this lesson, students should be familiar with:

• Basic geometry concepts such as how to find the area of a square, rectangles, and triangles

• Understanding of the concept of 2D vs. 3D

• Basic understanding of mathematical operations

## Key Vocabulary

• Surface area

• Rectangular prism

• 3D object

• Net

## Procedure

### Introduction

• As a hook, ask students why crushed ice seems to cool their drinks faster than cubed ice. Refer to the last page of the guided notes as well as the FAQs below for ideas.

• Use the guided notes to introduce the steps to convert a rectangular prism to a 3D shape net. Walk through the key points of the topic of the guided notes to teach. Refer to the FAQ below for a walk through on this, as well as ideas on how to respond to common student questions.

• Use the second page of guided notes to introduce matching nets to 3D objects.

• Check for understanding. Have students walk through the "You Try!" section. Call on students to talk through their answers, potentially on the whiteboard or projector. Based on student responses, reteach concepts that students need extra help with. If your class has a wide range of proficiency levels, you can pull out students for reteaching, and have more advanced students begin work on the practice exercises.

### Practice

• Have students practice finding the surface area of rectangular prisms using the practice questions. Walk around to answer student questions.

• Fast finishers can dive into the color by code activity for extra practice. You can assign it as homework for the remainder of the class.

### Real-Life Application

• Bring the class back together, and introduce the concept of the surface area of ice in drinks like lemonade. Discuss how understanding surface area can help explain why crushed ice cools drinks faster than cubed ice. Refer to the FAQ for more ideas on how to teach it!

## Extensions

### Hands-on project

If you’re looking for a way for your kinesthetic learners to engage with 3D shape nets, why not have them build emoji and Minecraft characters from 3D shape nets?

There’s different versions depending on your students’ needs:

• Emoji nets. Practice finding surface area of 3D shape nets with decimals, fractions, and whole numbers. At the end of the activity, students walk away with an emoji cube.

• Challenge: Minecraft nets (whole numbers, fractions). Practice finding surface area and volume of 3D shape nets, and end the activity with a Minecraft character.

If you’re looking for digital practice for finding the surface area of 3D shape nets, try my Pixel Art activities in Google Sheets. Every answer is automatically checked, and correct answers unlock parts of a mystery picture.

There’s different versions depending on your students’ needs: