Rockway Middle School
Designing Packages: Students learn
about and experiment with surface area and volume in this lesson from
the Connected Math Project. They begin by reviewing previously learned
concepts of base, height, width, and length. As employees of the ABC Toy
Company, their task is to design a package to house 24 blocks. They are
supplied with 24 stacking cubes to explore the different ways the cubes
can be put together and packaged. For each package built, they record
the dimensions and determine surface area corresponding to that box. Students
experience collecting data using manipulatives and devise creative solutions.
The concepts of surface area and volume are repeated with each new investigation
for each shape. Once students have finished, the class reviews and defines
the different methods individual groups used to find surface area. The
lesson culminates with the student discovery that as the smaller cubes
are put together forming different rectangular shapes, if they are arranged
to form a larger cube, the surface area is minimized.