Lesson: Copy of Surface Area Tin Foil Robot Project

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Lesson Objective

Use surface area formulas to calculate the precise amount of tin foil needed to entirely cover a student made robot.

Lesson Plan

This project should be used after students are somewhat familiar with the concept of surface area and surface area formulas.

Time Frame: 3-4 Class Periods

Pages Included: Tin Foil Project Instructions and Worksheet, Tin Foil Robot Reflection, Tin Foil Robot Rubric


Supplies Needed:

  • Toilet Paper Rolls (or Pringles cans)
  • Paper Towel Rolls
  • Boxes of various sizes
  • Styrofoam balls or whiffle balls (for the head)
  • Cone shaped drinking cups or cones made out of cardstock (optionl for the hat)
  • Tin foil
  • Scissors
  • Duct Tape
  • Measuring

Directions: Split students into partners or groups. You will need enough of the supplies listed above for each robot, depending on how many your class will be making. Pass out the directions and rubric and explain each category so students clearly know how they will be graded.

Let students choose what pieces they will use for their robot. Then they are to find the surface area of each shape, showing their work on the worksheet in the appropriate box. On the back of the worksheet is space for them to add them all together and to name their robot.

After measuring, they can now tape their pieces together, forming a robot. Next, they should bring the total amount of tinfoil calculated to you. Question them on how to find this amount of tin foil until they realize they should divide their number by the width of your tin foil. My tin foil was 18 inches long so we divided by 18 and that is also a question in the reflection that you will need to edit if your tin foil is a different width. Once they have divided they now have the length their tinfoil has to be. Have them measure their length and then cut. This is the only tinfoil they are given, no more no less, and they need to cover the entire tin man without have any leftover or running out. Have them ‘creatively’ name their robot and some students will want to decorate or add accessories.

After the robot is complete, have them answer the reflection questions by writing at least one complete, detailed sentence. Then have them fill out the partner rubric. At the end, they will turn in their surface area worksheet, the reflection questions and answers, and the partner rubric. This, along with in-class observations is what you will use to complete the same rubric about each individual student, giving them a numerical grade out of 100 points.

Lesson Resources

Day 6 Tin Foil Robot Reflection.docx  
Day 6 Tin Foil Robot Rubric.docx  
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Day 3 Tin Foil Robot Project Instructions and Worksheet.docx  
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