Big Ideas:
Cubes can be represented with nets, which can be decomposed into squares to determine the surface area of the cube.
The surface area of a cube can be calculated by using the formula S.A. = 6s^2.
This lesson builds on students' work finding composite areas of polygons by decomposing into triangles and rectangles. In this task, students determine whether or not they have enough paper to construct enough cubic feet to build a cubic yard, then they are asked to find the surface area of a cubic foot and cubic yard. This lesson builds toward students' work in sixth and seventh grade on finding the surface area of three-dimensional figures composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, and polygons.
Vocabulary: 2-dimensional shape, 3-dimensional figure, area, composite area, cube, cubic units, decompose, face, net, prism, rectangular prism, square units, surface area
Special Materials:
Optional: 12 x 18 sheets of construction paper - 7 sheets per group of students, along with rulers, scissors, and tape for constructing paper cubes