We are moving our free videos to YouTube and retiring student functionality on 7/15. Learn more

Lesson plan

Lesson 14: Nets and Surface Area

teaches Common Core State Standards MP7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP7
teaches Common Core State Standards 6.G.A.4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/G/A/4

Lesson 14: Nets and Surface Area

Previously, students learned about polyhedra, analyzed and defined their features, and investigated their physical representations. Students also identified the polygons that compose a polyhedron; they recognized a net as an arrangement of these polygons and as a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional figure.

This lesson extends students' understanding of polyhedra and their nets. They practice visualizing the polyhedra that could be assembled from given nets and use nets to find the surface area of polyhedra.

Lesson overview

  • 14.1 Warm-up: Matching Nets (10 minutes)
  • 14.2 Activity: Using Nets to Find Surface Area (25 minutes)
    • Includes "Are you Ready for More?" extension problem
  • Lesson Synthesis
  • 14.3 Cool-down: Unfolded (5 minutes)

Learning goals:

  • Match polyhedra with their nets and justify (orally) that they match.
  • Use a net with gridlines to calculate the surface area of a prism or pyramid and explain (in writing) the solution method.
  • Visualize and identify the polyhedron that can be assembled from a given net.

Learning goals (student facing):

  • Let’s use nets to find the surface area of polyhedra.

Learning targets (student facing):

  • When given a net of a prism or a pyramid, I can calculate its surface area.
  • I can match polyhedra to their nets and explain how I know.

Required materials:

  • Nets of polyhedra
  • Tape
  • Geometry toolkits
  • Glue or glue sticks

Required preparation:

  • Prepare physical copies of the nets in the warm-up, in case needed to support students with visualization.
  • The blackline master contains a larger version of these nets. 
  • Make copies of the nets in the blackline master for the main activity.
  • Prepare one set of 3 nets (A, B, and C) and some glue or tape for each group of 3 students.


  • Access the complete Grade 6 glossary.






IM 6–8 Math was originally developed by Open Up Resources and authored by Illustrative Mathematics, and is copyright 2017-2019 by Open Up Resources. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). OUR's 6–8 Math Curriculum is available at https://openupresources.org/math-curriculum/.

Adaptations and updates to IM 6–8 Math are copyright 2019 by Illustrative Mathematics, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

Adaptations to add additional English language learner supports are copyright 2019 by Open Up Resources, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

The Illustrative Mathematics name and logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be used without the prior and express written consent of Illustrative Mathematics.

This site includes public domain images or openly licensed images that are copyrighted by their respective owners. Openly licensed images remain under the terms of their respective licenses.