Geometry Pyramids Lesson Plan

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

In this lesson plan, students will learn about the defining features of a pyramid. They will then learn how to calculate various measurements of a pyramid using different formulas. They will end with a performance task where they will apply what they have learned to measure real-world pyramids.

Lesson Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand the formulas for measuring pyramids
  • Calculate the surface area and volume of a pyramid

Curriculum Standards


Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.


Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.


Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions. Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle.


45-60 minutes


Lesson Instructions

  • Distribute toothpicks, marshmallows and rulers to students. Model how to create a pyramid using the toothpicks as edges and the marshmallows as vertices. Explain that they will learn more about this three-dimensional shape in this lesson.
  • Distribute Pyramids: Definition, Area and Volume. Play the video and have students follow along.
  • Pause at 2:22. Ask the following questions (students will need rulers to find the answers):
    • Is your pyramid square or triangular?
    • What is the area of your pyramid's base?
    • What is the perimeter of your pyramid's base?
    • What is your pyramid's slant length?
  • Play the video, pausing at 4:58.
    • Ask students to calculate their pyramids' surface area. Circulate to check for understanding with students.
  • Play the remainder of the video.
    • Ask students to calculate their pyramids' volume. Circulate to check for understanding with students.
  • Distribute the quiz to students. They will take it independently to demonstrate mastery.
  • Review answers together.

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