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# Exploring Volume and Surface Area with Unifix Cubes

Lesson 30 of 37

## Objective: SWBAT find the volume and surface area of irregular shapes composed of cubes by counting units

*45 minutes*

#### Opening

*5 min*

The main purpose of this lesson is to make sure that students have a good understanding of the differences between surface area and volume. It may go well at the beginning of the a unit on surface area and volume; I taught this lesson after we already worked through the surface area sequence of the unit. In the opening part of the lesson, I want to quickly assess what students know about volume. I will ask: 1) How do we measure distance? 2) How do we measure area? 3) How do we measure volume? Most of my students will have no problem answering the first two questions. For question 1, it is okay if a student says "using a ruler or tape measure" or some such thing, but I will use that to lead them to describe the type of units used to measure distance. On question 3, I am listening for students who understand that volume measures space in 3 dimensions and/or that it is measured in cubic units. Being able to correctly describe the units belong with **MP6. **I will be very insistent that units are described accurately (i.e. feet, square feet, cubic feet, etc).

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#### Problem Solving

*20 min*

Each student will be given 10 cubes, though they will be working through the problem set with partners. Students are expected to solve the problems in the manner of the example: 1) build the model; 2) draw the 2D views; 3) find the surface area and volume; 4) Examine the relationship between the 2D views and the surface area. While students are working, I will walk around to help students who are struggling with the models. I will also be looking for proper labeling of units (**MP6**) and accurate 2D views. It is important to let the students know that there are no "holes" or missing cubes hidden from view. For example, in problem a there are only 3 visible cubes, but the top cube is sitting on stop of a hidden cube. It can be tricky to keep track of the faces when counting for surface area. I may let students who are getting frustrated to lightly mark each face using a wet erase marker.

Page 2 of the model, labeled "independent problem solving", has the extension problems. These will present a bit more of a challenge for students who make quick work out of the first 6 problems. I will give these students another 10 cubes to work with.

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#### Lesson Debrief

*5 min*

First, I will call on students to give answers to the volume and surface area of each problem. When there is disagreement, I will ask the students to build the model being discussed. I will then call on a student to explain what they think the correct answers are by using the model as an aid. This is an opportunity in the lesson for students to practice **MP3**. After we have agreed to all of the volume and surface area problems, I will ask the 2nd essential question. We should be able to now confirm the relationship between the 2D views and the surface area. I will also ask students if solids with the same volume have the same surface area. Again here is another chance to practice **MP3**. A student could quickly build their argument by using problems a & b (same volume/same surface area) and c & d (same volume/different surface area).

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#### Exit Ticket

*5 min*

I will ask students to include the 2D views on the exit ticket in addition to finding the volume and surface area. This will allow me to diagnose any misconceptions and also assess their spatial reasoning. They may use the unfix cubes to help answer the questions.

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*This is the third year I will be using this lesson. It is very engaging and allows the students to explore at their own pace. It also allows for multiple perspectives which then allows the students to discuss their problem solving process and justify their answers. Thank you!! | 4 days ago | Reply*

*Love the investigation style of this lesson. Thanks for sharing! | 10 months ago | Reply*

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- LESSON 1: Explore Perimeter and Area of Composite Shapes
- LESSON 2: Perimeter of Irregular Rectilinear Shapes
- LESSON 3: Area of Composite Shapes Using a Grid
- LESSON 4: Area of Composite Shapes
- LESSON 5: Area of Regions Formed by Inscribed Shapes
- LESSON 6: CORNERSTONE:Circle Ratios: Diameter to Radius; Circumference to Diameter
- LESSON 7: CORNERSTONE: Circumference Formula
- LESSON 8: Area of a Circle
- LESSON 9: Circumference & Area Fluency Practice
- LESSON 10: Finding the Radius From a Given Circumference or Area
- LESSON 11: Circumference from Area / Area from Circumference
- LESSON 12: Circle Designs: Finding the Area and Perimeter of Shapes Composed of Arcs and Line Segments
- LESSON 13: Assessment_Area and Perimeter (Circumference) of Composite Shapes and Circles
- LESSON 14: Drawing Prisms & Pyramids
- LESSON 15: Describe Prisms and Pyramids Using Algebra
- LESSON 16: Using Nets to Find the Surface Area of Prisms
- LESSON 17: Using a Formula to Find the Surface Area of Prisms
- LESSON 18: Finding the surface area of triangular prisms using a net
- LESSON 19: Finding the Surface Area of a Triangular Prism Using A Formula
- LESSON 20: Discovering the Formula for the Surface Area of A Cylinder
- LESSON 21: Finding the Surface Area of Cylinders Using a Formula
- LESSON 22: Practice Day: Surface Area of Prisms & Cylinders
- LESSON 23: Surface Area of Prisms and Cylinders Assessment
- LESSON 24: Finding the Surface Area of Pyramids Using Nets
- LESSON 25: Finding the Surface Area of Pyramids Using a Formula
- LESSON 26: Surface Area of Composite Shapes
- LESSON 27: Surface Area of Composite Shapes With Holes
- LESSON 28: Surface Area Assessment
- LESSON 29: 3-D Models from 2-D Views
- LESSON 30: Exploring Volume and Surface Area with Unifix Cubes
- LESSON 31: Explore Volume of Rectangular Prisms
- LESSON 32: Find the Volume of Prisms Using a Formula
- LESSON 33: Volume Of Cylinders Using a Formula
- LESSON 34: Volume of Composite Shapes
- LESSON 35: Volume and Surface Area - Accelerated Math Fluency Day
- LESSON 36: Volume of Pyramids
- LESSON 37: Surface Area and Volume Final Assessment