Surface Area Using Nets

One of our math standards has students finding surface area using the net of rectangular prisms.

I started out by using this poster to introduce the topic, which is a part of my Volume and Surface Area Poster and Graphic Organizer set.

The poster shows that each rectangular prism has 3 pairs of sides where the pairs are congruent to each other. When they took notes in their interactive foldable graphic organizers.


After putting the information into the interactive foldable graphic organizers, we moved on to the actual nets. I started with a net that had grid marking on it to make it easier on the students. We color coded the sides so that they knew which parts coordinated.

They then cut out the net and put it into their interactive notebooks.  Next, the students calculated the area of each side of the rectangular prism to find the total surface are of the shape. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step.

Once this was done, we did the same thing but with a net they had to measure themselves to find the dimensions.

 We also did a cube and square pyramid.

After finding the surface area of the nets, we moved on to using the traditional formula. I think by dong this activity, the students truly had an understanding of why the formula works.

I got the nets HERE and HERE (I whited out the tabs to use this one).

For other great teaching ideas, check out The Teacher Studio's Loved the Lesson linky!


  1. I bet the kids just LOVED it! Thanks so much for linking up! :)

  2. Amy! I love this! I am using this tomorrow!
    Thanks for sharing...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. Thanks for your post! This was another helpful reminder to me about how important math notebooks are. I had such good intentions, but it didn't last long this year. My goal is to plan out how to use math notebooks better this next year with my fifth graders. Thank you!