Surface Area and Volume
Type of Unit: Conceptual
Students should be able to:
Identify rectangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, and triangles and their bases and heights.
Identify cubes, rectangular prisms, and pyramids and their faces, edges, and vertices.
Understand that area of a 2-D figure is a measure of the figure's surface and that it is measured in square units.
Understand volume of a 3-D figure is a measure of the space the figure occupies and is measured in cubic units.
The unit begins with an exploratory lesson about the volumes of containers. Then in Lessons 2–5, students investigate areas of 2-D figures. To find the area of a parallelogram, students consider how it can be rearranged to form a rectangle. To find the area of a trapezoid, students think about how two copies of the trapezoid can be put together to form a parallelogram. To find the area of a triangle, students consider how two copies of the triangle can be put together to form a parallelogram. By sketching and analyzing several parallelograms, trapezoids, and triangles, students develop area formulas for these figures. Students then find areas of composite figures by decomposing them into familiar figures. In the last lesson on area, students estimate the area of an irregular figure by overlaying it with a grid. In Lesson 6, the focus shifts to 3-D figures. Students build rectangular prisms from unit cubes and develop a formula for finding the volume of any rectangular prism. In Lesson 7, students analyze and create nets for prisms. In Lesson 8, students compare a cube to a square pyramid with the same base and height as the cube. They consider the number of faces, edges, and vertices, as well as the surface area and volume. In Lesson 9, students use their knowledge of volume, area, and linear measurements to solve a packing problem.
Lesson OverviewStudents use scissors to transform a net for a unit cube into a net for a square pyramid. They then investigate how changing a figure from a cube to a square pyramid affects the number of faces, edges, and vertices and how it changes the surface area and volume.Key ConceptsA square pyramid is a 3-D figure with a square base and four triangular faces.In this lesson, the net for a cube is transformed into a net for a square pyramid. This requires cutting off one square completely and changing four others into isosceles triangles.It is easy to see that the surface area of the pyramid is less than the surface area of the cube, because part of the cube's surface is cut off to create the pyramid. Specifically, the surface area of the pyramid is 3 square units, and the surface area of the cube is 6 square units. Students will be able to see visually that the volume of the pyramid is less than that of the cube.Students consider the number of faces, vertices, and edges of the two figures. A face is a flat side of a figure. An edge is a segment where 2 faces meet. A vertex is the point where three or more faces meet. A cube has 6 faces, 8 vertices, and 12 edges. A square pyramid has 5 faces, 5 vertices, and 8 edges.Goals and Learning ObjectivesChange the net of a cube into the net of a pyramid.Find the surface area of the pyramid.