Lesson plan

Lesson 15: More Nets, More Surface Area

teaches Alabama State Standards 6-27.
teaches Arizona State Standards 6.G.A.4
teaches Arizona State Standards 6.G.A.2
teaches Common Core State Standards MP1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP1
teaches Common Core State Standards 6.G.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/G/A/2
teaches Common Core State Standards 6.G.A.4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/G/A/4
teaches Colorado State Standards 6.G.A.4.
teaches Colorado State Standards 6.G.A.2.
teaches Georgia State Standards MGSE6.G.4.
teaches Georgia State Standards MGSE6.G.2.
teaches Kansas State Standards 6.G.4.
teaches Kansas State Standards 6.G.2.
teaches Minnesota State Standards
teaches New York State Standards NY-6.G.4.
teaches New York State Standards NY-6.G.2.
teaches Ohio State Standards 6.G.4.
teaches Ohio State Standards 6.G.2.
teaches Pennsylvania State Standards CC.2.3.6.A.1.

Lesson 15: More Nets, More Surface Area

This lesson further develops students’ ability to visualize the relationship between nets and polyhedra and their capacity to reason about surface area.

Previously, students started with nets and visualized the polyhedra that could be assembled from the nets. Here they go in the other direction—from polyhedra to nets. They practice mentally unfolding three-dimensional shapes, drawing two-dimensional nets, and using them to calculate surface area. Students also have a chance to compare and contrast surface area and volume as measures of two distinct attributes of a three-dimensional figure.

Lesson overview

  • 15.1 Warm-up: Notice and Wonder: Wrapping Paper (5 minutes)
  • 15.2 Activity: Building Prisms and Pyramids (30 minutes)
  • 15.3 Optional Activity: Comparing Boxes (15 minutes)
    • Includes "Are you Ready for More?" extension problem
  • Lesson Synthesis
  • 15.4 Cool-down: Surface Area of a Triangular Prism (5 minutes)

Learning goals:

  • Draw and assemble a net for the prism or pyramid shown in a given drawing.
  • Interpret (using words and other representations) two-dimensional representations of prisms and pyramids.
  • Use a net without gridlines to calculate the surface area of a prism or pyramid and explain (in writing) the solution method.

Learning goals (student facing):

  • Let’s draw nets and find the surface area of polyhedra.

Learning targets (student facing):

  • I can calculate the surface area of prisms and pyramids.
  • I can draw the nets of prisms and pyramids.

Required materials:

  • Tape
  • Demonstration nets with and without flaps
  • Pre-printed slips, cut from copies of the blackline master
  • Glue or glue sticks
  • Geometry toolkits

Required preparation:

  • Copy and cut the blackline master for the Building Prisms and Pyramids activity.
  • Make one copy for every 9 students, so that each student gets one drawing of a polyhedron.
  • Consider assignments of polyhedra in advance.


  • Access the complete Grade 6 glossary.


  • This lesson builds on the standard:CCSS.5.MD.C.5MS.5.MD.5MO.5.GM.B.4aMO.5.GM.B.4b






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).

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