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 find the area of a parallelogram by rearranging it to form a rectangle. They find the area of a trapezoid by putting together two copies of it to form a parallelogram. By doing these activities and by analyzing the dimensions and areas of several examples of each figure, students develop and understand area formulas for parallelograms and trapezoids.Key ConceptsA parallelogram is a quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides. The base of a parallelogram can be any of the four sides. The height is the perpendicular distance from the base to the opposite side.A trapezoid is a quadrilateral with exactly one pair of parallel sides. The bases of a trapezoid are the parallel sides. The height is the perpendicular distance between the bases.You can cut a parallelogram into two pieces and reassemble them to form a rectangle. Because the area does not change, the area of the rectangle is the same as the area of the parallelogram. This gives the parallelogram area formula A = bh.You can put two identical trapezoids together to form a parallelogram with the same height as the trapezoid and a base length equal to the sum of the base lengths of the trapezoid. The area of the parallelogram is (b1 + b2)h, so the area of the trapezoid is one-half of this area. Thus, the trapezoid area formula is A = 12(b1 + b2)h.Goals and Learning ObjectivesDevelop and explore the formula for the area of a parallelogram.Develop and explore the formula for the area of a trapezoid.