Enjoy any 5 free lessons!
You can pick. No account needed.
Watch VideoBecome a member to get full access to our entire library of learning videos, reading material, quiz games, simple DIY activities & more.
Become a member to get full access to our entire library of learning videos, quiz games, & more.
Plans & Pricingto watch this full video.
Access All Videos
and Lessons, No Limits.
Access All Videos
No credit card required,
takes 7 sec to signup.
No card required
Readytogo lessons
that save you time.
Readytogo lessons
If you are on a school computer or network, ask your tech person to whitelist these URLs:
*.wistia.com, fast.wistia.com, fast.wistia.net, embedwistiaa.akamaihd.net
Sometimes a simple refresh solves this issue. If you need further help, contact us.
Surface Area Using Nets (Prisms & Pyramids)
 Show lesson plan & teacher guide
 Show answers to discussion questions
 Show video only
 Allow visiting of other pages
 Hide assessments
 We'll learn how to find the surface areas of prisms and pyramids using nets.
 We’ll also learn to identify 3D shapes based on their 2D nets.
 And we'll see how this knowledge can help us go camping, make owl boxes, and even start a business.

Discussion Questions

Before VideoWhat is special about a square?ANSWER

All the sides are congruent, and all the angles are congruent.

Rectangles still have four congruent angles. They have two pairs of congruent sides instead of all four congruent sides. So, a square is a special kind of rectangle.

For any rectangle, I can multiply length by width, or base by height. If it’s a square, I can multiply one side length by itself.

Base times height divided by two, or half the base times the height.

A prism is a solid object with two identical ends and flat sides connecting them. A prism where all of the sides are squares is called a cube. A pyramid is a solid object where there is a polygon on the base and the sides are triangles that meet at a point at the top.


After VideoWhat 3D shape consists of six squares?ANSWER

A cube.

Find the area of one face, then multiply by 6.

I have to add up all of the face’s areas, some of them might be triangles or other shapes.

The prism consists of rectangles along with whatever shape the two bases are. The pyramid has triangles along with whatever shape the one base is.

Picture unfolding the shape until it lies flat, and make sure that only congruent sides are touching.



Vocabulary

Area
DEFINE
The amount of space, in square units, inside of a 2D shape (for example, for a rectangle, area is length times width; for a triangle, area is half the base times the height).

Decompose
DEFINE
To break apart a shape (or quantity) into smaller parts.

Surface Area
DEFINE
The total area, in square units, of the surface of a 3D object.

Net
DEFINE
An unfolded, flat picture that represents a 3D shape.

Rectangular Prism
DEFINE
A 3D shape that has six faces that are all rectangles.

Cube
DEFINE
A special rectangular prism that has six faces that are all squares.

Prism
DEFINE
A 3D shape with two identical bases connected by three rectangular faces (for example, in a triangular prism, the bases are triangles; in a pentagonal prism, the bases are pentagons).

Right Triangle
DEFINE
A threesided polygon that contains a 90degree angle.

Pyramid
DEFINE
A 3D shape that has 5 faces (for example, in a rectangular pyramid, 4 triangular bases are built along a rectangular base, and meet at a point).

Area
DEFINE

Reading Material
Download as PDF Download PDF View as Separate PageWHAT IS SURFACE AREA?Area is the space inside a 2D shape. The surface area of a 3D solid is the area inside all of the faces of the solid. You can add up the area of each face to find the total surface area.
To better understand surface using nets…
WHAT IS SURFACE AREA?. Area is the space inside a 2D shape. The surface area of a 3D solid is the area inside all of the faces of the solid. You can add up the area of each face to find the total surface area. To better understand surface using nets…LET’S BREAK IT DOWN!
Find the area of a composite shape.
The area of a complex shape can be found by breaking a shape into simpler shapes. You have a picture of an arrow pointing to the right. The arrow consists of a rectangle and a triangle. The rectangle is 8 centimeters by 5 centimeters, so its area is 8×5=40 square centimeters. The triangle has base 5 centimeters height 4 centimeters. So, the area of the triangular section is [ggfrac]1/2[/ggfrac](5)(4) =10 square centimeters. The total area of the arrow is 40+10=50 square centimeters. Try this one yourself: What is the area, in square centimeters, of a triangle with base 5 centimeters and height 12 centimeters?
Find the area of a composite shape. The area of a complex shape can be found by breaking a shape into simpler shapes. You have a picture of an arrow pointing to the right. The arrow consists of a rectangle and a triangle. The rectangle is 8 centimeters by 5 centimeters, so its area is 8×5=40 square centimeters. The triangle has base 5 centimeters height 4 centimeters. So, the area of the triangular section is [ggfrac]1/2[/ggfrac](5)(4) =10 square centimeters. The total area of the arrow is 40+10=50 square centimeters. Try this one yourself: What is the area, in square centimeters, of a triangle with base 5 centimeters and height 12 centimeters?Find the surface area of a barn owl box.
Surface area is the total area of the faces of a 3D solid. You're building a barn owl box to help barn owls sleep during the day. You want to cover the box with paper to help it blend in outside. The amount of paper needed is the same as the surface area of the box. Since the box is a rectangular prism, its net has 6 rectangles. The box measures 3 units by 4 units by 2 units. Two faces measure 3by4, so they each have area 3×4=12 square units. Two faces measure 4by2, so they each have area 4×2=8 square units. Two faces measure 3by2, so they each have area 3×2=6 square units. The surface area is the sum: 12+12+8+8+6+6=52 square units. That means you need 52 square units of paper to cover the box. Try this one yourself: A rectangular prism measures 5 centimeters by 10 centimeters by 8 centimeters. What is the surface area, in square centimeters, of the prism?
Find the surface area of a barn owl box. Surface area is the total area of the faces of a 3D solid. You're building a barn owl box to help barn owls sleep during the day. You want to cover the box with paper to help it blend in outside. The amount of paper needed is the same as the surface area of the box. Since the box is a rectangular prism, its net has 6 rectangles. The box measures 3 units by 4 units by 2 units. Two faces measure 3by4, so they each have area 3×4=12 square units. Two faces measure 4by2, so they each have area 4×2=8 square units. Two faces measure 3by2, so they each have area 3×2=6 square units. The surface area is the sum: 12+12+8+8+6+6=52 square units. That means you need 52 square units of paper to cover the box. Try this one yourself: A rectangular prism measures 5 centimeters by 10 centimeters by 8 centimeters. What is the surface area, in square centimeters, of the prism?Find the surface area of a fish tank.
You have a fish tank shaped like a cube. Every edge of the fish tank measures 30 centimeters. What is the surface area of the tank? In a cube, all 6 faces are the same size of square. The area of each square is 30×30=900 square centimeters. Since all the other squares have the same dimensions, the surface area of the cube is 900+900+900+900+900+900, or 900×6=5,400 square centimeters. The surface area of the fish tank is 5,400 square centimeters. Try this one yourself: A large cube has edges that each measure 2 meters. What is the surface area, in square meters, of the cube?
Find the surface area of a fish tank. You have a fish tank shaped like a cube. Every edge of the fish tank measures 30 centimeters. What is the surface area of the tank? In a cube, all 6 faces are the same size of square. The area of each square is 30×30=900 square centimeters. Since all the other squares have the same dimensions, the surface area of the cube is 900+900+900+900+900+900, or 900×6=5,400 square centimeters. The surface area of the fish tank is 5,400 square centimeters. Try this one yourself: A large cube has edges that each measure 2 meters. What is the surface area, in square meters, of the cube?Find the surface area of a skateboard ramp.
You are building a skateboard ramp out of wood. You need to know the surface area of the ramp to purchase enough wood to cover it. The ramp is a triangular prism. There are two right triangular faces and three rectangular faces. The triangle sides have base 3 meters and height 4 meters. So the area of each triangle side is [ggfrac]1/2[/ggfrac](3)(4) = 6 square meters. The ramp is 8 meters wide, so there are three rectangular sides, 3 × 8, 4 × 8 and 5 × 8. They have areas 24, 32, and 40 square meters. To find the surface area, add up all of these areas: 6+6+24+32+40=108 square meters. That means the ramp uses 108 square meters of wood. Try this one yourself: The two right triangles on a triangular prism have side lengths 5 meters, 12 meters, and 13 meters. The length across the prism is 4 meters. What is the surface area, in square meters, of the prism?
Find the surface area of a skateboard ramp. You are building a skateboard ramp out of wood. You need to know the surface area of the ramp to purchase enough wood to cover it. The ramp is a triangular prism. There are two right triangular faces and three rectangular faces. The triangle sides have base 3 meters and height 4 meters. So the area of each triangle side is [ggfrac]1/2[/ggfrac](3)(4) = 6 square meters. The ramp is 8 meters wide, so there are three rectangular sides, 3 × 8, 4 × 8 and 5 × 8. They have areas 24, 32, and 40 square meters. To find the surface area, add up all of these areas: 6+6+24+32+40=108 square meters. That means the ramp uses 108 square meters of wood. Try this one yourself: The two right triangles on a triangular prism have side lengths 5 meters, 12 meters, and 13 meters. The length across the prism is 4 meters. What is the surface area, in square meters, of the prism?Determine a 3D shape from its net.
What 3D shape can have a net with 2 right triangles and 3 rectangular faces? It’s a triangular prism! How is the 3D shape different if the net has 2 pentagons and 5 rectangles? Now we have a pentagonal prism. The shapes on the net of a rectangular prism are predictable in a different way: all 6 of its faces are rectangles, like when a cardboard box is completely unfolded. Another important comparison involves prisms and pyramids. Can you tell the difference between a triangular prism and a square pyramid just by looking at a net? Both of these nets have 5 shapes, and they both contain triangles. However, the biggest difference is that the square pyramid has 4 triangles, while the triangular prism has 2. Try this one yourself: What 3D shape has a net with exactly 6 rectangles and 2 hexagons?
Determine a 3D shape from its net. What 3D shape can have a net with 2 right triangles and 3 rectangular faces? It’s a triangular prism! How is the 3D shape different if the net has 2 pentagons and 5 rectangles? Now we have a pentagonal prism. The shapes on the net of a rectangular prism are predictable in a different way: all 6 of its faces are rectangles, like when a cardboard box is completely unfolded. Another important comparison involves prisms and pyramids. Can you tell the difference between a triangular prism and a square pyramid just by looking at a net? Both of these nets have 5 shapes, and they both contain triangles. However, the biggest difference is that the square pyramid has 4 triangles, while the triangular prism has 2. Try this one yourself: What 3D shape has a net with exactly 6 rectangles and 2 hexagons?Many careers use surface area.
Engineers use surface area when they build tools that go up in space. Satellites, and many other instruments, are covered in insulating foil. This foil protects them from the extreme cold in space. Engineers use surface area to know how much foil they need for each part of their build. Chemists are another kind of scientists who use surface area. Chemists study matter, and they need to understand surface area because it affects how quickly chemicals react. For example, when something is ground up into a powder, its surface area increases, which speeds up a chemical reaction. A different kind of career where surface area is important is graphic design. Suppose a graphic designer is making a label for a soup can, and the label needs to wrap perfectly around the can. The designer must change the size of the label to work well with the surface area of the can.
Many careers use surface area. Engineers use surface area when they build tools that go up in space. Satellites, and many other instruments, are covered in insulating foil. This foil protects them from the extreme cold in space. Engineers use surface area to know how much foil they need for each part of their build. Chemists are another kind of scientists who use surface area. Chemists study matter, and they need to understand surface area because it affects how quickly chemicals react. For example, when something is ground up into a powder, its surface area increases, which speeds up a chemical reaction. A different kind of career where surface area is important is graphic design. Suppose a graphic designer is making a label for a soup can, and the label needs to wrap perfectly around the can. The designer must change the size of the label to work well with the surface area of the can. 
Practice Word Problems

Practice Number Problems

Teacher Resources
These downloadable teacher resources can help you create a full lesson around the video. These PDFs incorporate using class discussion questions, vocabulary lists, printable math worksheets, quizzes, games, and more.
Select a Google Form
Choose a way to play this quiz game

Questions appear on the teacher's screen. Students answer on their own devices.
Start a Free Trial Today. Get a $5 Amazon Gift Card!
Teachers! Start a free trial & we'll send your gift card within 1 day. Only cards left. Try it now.
This email is associated with a Science Kit subscription. Kit subscriptions are managed on this separate page: Manage Subscription

Science & Math$_{/yr}

Science Only$_{/yr}
A cube has edge length 5 centimeters. Find the cube’s surface area.
A rectangular prism has edge lengths 6 cm, 4 cm, and 3 cm. Draw a net of the rectangular prism and find its surface area.
What 3D shape consists of two identical sixsided bases and six identical rectangular faces?
access all lessons
• No credit card required •
"My students loved the videos. I started the video subscription in May and used them as a review before the state test, which I know contributed to 100% of my class passing the state test."
Rhonda Fox 4th Grade Teacher, Ocala, Florida• No credit card required •
"My students loved the videos. I started the video subscription in May and used them as a review before the state test, which I know contributed to 100% of my class passing the state test."
Rhonda Fox 4th Grade Teacher, Ocala, Florida• No credit card required •
Already a member? Sign In
* no credit card required *
* no credit card required *
* no credit card required *
no credit card required
Skip, I will use a 3 day free trial
Enjoy your free 30 days trial

Unlimited access to our full library
of videos & lessons for grades K5. 
You won’t be billed unless you keep your
account open past your 14day free trial. 
You can cancel anytime in 1 click on the
manage account page or by emailing us.

Unlimited access to our full library of videos & lessons for grades K5.

You won't be billed unless you keep your account open past 14 days.

You can cancel anytime in 1click on the manage account page.
Cancel anytime in 1click on the manage account page before the trial ends and you won't be charged.
Otherwise you will pay just $10 CAD/month for the service as long as your account is open.
Cancel anytime on the manage account page in 1click and you won't be charged.
Otherwise you will pay $10 CAD/month for the service as long as your account is open.
We just sent you a confirmation email. Enjoy!
DonePlease login or join.