by Ellen Navitsky


Surface Area

Ellen Navitsky
To obtain a downloadable copy of the worksheet that accompanies this bulletin board, click on the button below.

TITLE: Surface Area Sizzlers!

SUBJECT: This bulletin board is designed for a geometry class.

TOPIC: Finding surface areas of three-dimensional objects.

INTERACTIVITY: 1) The game portion of the bulletin board is a wheel with six colors to be played with the entire class. Instead of "spinning" the wheel, the team leader will draw a card to select a color and then choose a question to ask the team. All students are encouraged to participate, especially in light of the "red square" rule in the directions below.

2) The sidebar is an explanation of what "nets" are and how they are used. Students can test their knowledge by guessing the name of the three-dimensional figures and then opening the flaps to check their answers. This portion of the board is also referenced in the extra credit worksheet in which the students trace the nets on the board.


The Game:

  1. The teacher will divide the class into two teams and choose a team leader for each team. The teacher will keep the score on the board.
  2. The team leader will pick a color card, select the first question and answer in the pocket on that color. The leader will read the question and call on the first person from their team to raise their hand. The leader then reads the answer. If the answer given was correct, that team will get the number of points on the pocket. Put that question in the back of that pocket. Then it is the other team’s turn.
  3. Each student gets 3 red squares. Each time you answer a question (right or wrong) put one square on the top right corner of your desktop. If all three of your squares are on the top right corner you cannot answer again until all other team members have answered at least once.
  4. The game is over when one team has reached 25 points.

The Sidebar:

  1. A net is a two-dimensional representation of all of the faces of a three-dimensional figure. We can add the areas of these faces to get the surface area of a solid figure.
  2. Guess the names of the figures below. Check your answers.


    TIME: The game: 8-10 minutes

    The sidebar: 1-2 minutes

    SPECIAL CONSTRUCION: The original concept for this game was to have a spinner on the wheel or to spin the wheel or a smaller inner wheel with an arrow drawn on it. However, all designs failed to compensate adequately for gravity. So the color cards were adopted.

    The color wheel and color sidebar were laminated. They can be re-used to make other games (different titles and questions).

    The nets were glued to poster board and cut out to make it easier to trace them as required on the worksheet.

    CREDIT: The game portion of the bulletin board is mainly to be used as a review of the material previously covered in class. Students should anticipate and enjoy the competitive nature of the game, another motivation for knowing the material. They have the option of completing the worksheet for up to 10 points of extra credit, depending on how much they do and how well they complete it.

    OTHER COMMENTS: Content area literacy (vocabulary and writing) is an important aspect of this bulletin board.

    Ellen Navitsky