Surface area is rarely discussed in Elementary School, but becomes a heavily discussed topic in mathematics in Middle School. Students need to know how to solve for the surface area of countless 3-D figures.
While understanding what surface area is and solving for surface area can sometimes be confusing, these activities will be sure to help your Middle School students get on track to being surface area masters!
1. Teaching Surface Area with 3D Nets
In this interactive activity, students either create their own nets or use pre-measured net images to form this 3-D creation. Students will begin to understand the concept of surface area and the confusing area formula with this pop-up activity.
Learn more: Teacher Thrive
2. Rectangular Prism Card Sort
Some students struggle with understanding the concept of surface area in comparison to volume. Help students understand surface area with this flashcard activity. Grab some colored paper and print geometric shapes and their factors on the paper. Then have students sort which measurement is the correct answer.
Learn more: Wilcox's Way
3. Felt Surface Area Activity
Students will love being able to see real-life applications of surface area. Students will zip and unzip these felt creations to see how the surface area is the sum of the area of all of the sides of a 3-D figure. They will use the formula for surface area to solve and use their application of mathematics in a real-life figure.
Learn more: Materyal Dunyasi 35
4. Anchor Chart Classroom Activity
Creating anchor charts about surface area as a class can be a super helpful way for students to better understand the difference between surface area and volume. This color coated chart will help students understand step by step how to find the surface area of a triangular prism.
Learn more: Pinterest
5. Volume and Area Word Wall
If your students are struggling to remember the many formulas for 3-D figures, put up this word wall for reference! Students can practice solving for the surface area and volume of a rectangular prism or triangular prism with just the values of different dimensions!
Learn more: Scaffolded Math
6. Chocolate Math Activity
Make learning about volume and surface area of a rectangular prism a hands-on activity for students with this chocolate bar activity! Teachers can either make handouts or use the given pre-made digital activities to encourage students to investigate the surface area and volume of the chocolate bar. At the end of the activity, have students eat the chocolate bar they had been solving with!
Learn more: Mashup Math
7. Online Surface Area Math Game
This online game is great for the digital classroom! Students receive the dimensions of a virtual manipulative and then are asked to solve. Students earn stars for their correct solving of these three-dimensional figures!
Learn more: Math Games
8. Virtual Prism Manipulator
Bring graph paper to life in this geometric measurement activity! Students start with a 10x10x10 cube and have the opportunity to change the height, width, and depth. This discovery activity allows students to see how the surface area and volume change with the change of each dimension.
Learn more: Interactive
9. Digital Volume Unit Activity
This digital activity allows students to better understand the concept of volume by not only practicing solving but watching and interacting with tutorials. This is an awesome idea for students who need more practice with volume problems.
Learn more: IXL
10. Rags to Riches Online Game Show
Students will love this interactive resource where they are given many surface area situations and other math problems they are asked to solve. Students will receive a problem and answer choices and earn virtual dollars for correct answers. This cognitive activity is an awesome idea for kids who love competition!
Learn more: Quia
11. Irregular Rectangular Prism Online Activity
In this digital math activity, students will be challenged by finding the volume and surface area of irregular 3D figures. Students will love interacting with the difficult shapes and will need to use logic to solve.
Learn more: Math 4 Children
12. Length, Area, and Volume Quiz
This online quiz allows students to practice their memorization skills of different equations related to surface area and volume. Students receive points for the number of correct answers they receive on matching the equation to the right scenario.
Learn more: Purpose Games
13. Unfolded Box Manipulator
In this digital activity, students get to visualize the surface area of an entire box and determine how the length, width, and height of the box impact its surface area and volume. The box is color-coated to make visualization easier for all learners.
Learn more: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
14. Volume and Surface Area Dominoes Activity
Print out this interactive dominoes worksheet to allow students to see how shapes can have the same length and width, but the type of 3d shape impacts the surface area and volume. Students will notice similarities between different 3d figures.
Learn more: Common Core Material
15. Surface Area Investigation
This hands-on activity has students solve a mystery about their 3d shape! Students will use clues to determine different measures of a mysterious shape. There is even a worksheet with all of the step-by-step of the investigation.
Learn more: Math Geek Mama
16. Finding the Surface Area of a Cereal Box
Students can use their favorite breakfast food to learn math! Have students bring in their favorite cereal box and deconstruct it to learn about surface area as the sum of the areas of all sides of a 3d shape!
Learn more: Learning Ideas
17. Wrappers Wanted Book
This adorable holiday-themed tale helps students understand surface area through the use of wrapping paper. Wrappers Wanted is both informative and engaging!
Learn more: Amazon
18. Creating Tin Men to Explore Surface Area Project
So many students love learning through arts and crafts! In this activity, students get to choose their own creation made up of different 3d shapes. Then students must measure the surface area of their 3d shapes to ensure they have the exact amount of tin foil necessary to cover it!
Learn more: Smith Curriculum Consulting
19. Design My House PBL Math
This fun activity has students design a house on graph paper and cut out furniture to fill their house. Using the grid, students determine the surface area of all of their furniture!
Learn more: The Owl Teacher
20. Surface Area Coloring Sheet
This coloring sheet is not for surface area beginners! Students receive a worksheet filled with clues and use that to color in the image.
Learn more: Pre-Algebra Teachers
21. Castle Surface Area
Students learn the importance of measurements in architecture by building a castle made up of 3d shapes. Students will love their final creation!
Learn more: Revathi's Kitchen
22. Household Object Surface Area
In this activity, students find the surface area of items they find in their houses. This activity could be done at home or students could be encouraged to bring items into the classroom. The possibilities are endless! All students need is the object, ruler, and understanding of surface area equations!
Learn more: Hands-On Math