Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Pyramids and Spheres Exploration - Section 2: Introduction to Play Dough Activity


In today's activity, students used playdough to develop a conceptual understanding of three-dimensional figures, their edges, vertices, faces, and cross-sections.  While completing this activity, I could see that my students were building a stronger knowledge of the key vocabulary words for this unit as well as reviewing vocabulary from prior units. 

Before students start this activity, I would encourage you to first require students to explain shapes using at least one adjective.  When we first started the activity, I found that many students described a cross-section as simply a triangle, when they could have been more specific by saying an isosceles triangle or a right triangle.  When I gave students this tip, I found that they were using more vocabulary and debating with each other the names of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes, wow! 

Here are some photographs of my students working on this activity.  We found that groups of no more than 3 students work best:

Students at Work #1

Students at Work #2

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Playdough Activity Tips
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Pyramids and Spheres Exploration

Unit 9: 3-D Shapes and Volume
Lesson 3 of 4

Objective: Students will be able to derive volume formulas for pyramid and sphere and apply these.

Big Idea: Students will use play dough to discover the volume formulas for pyramids and spheres.

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playdough image for pyramids and spheres exploration
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